Approach the SAT as If It Were an Athletic Event

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This tip for improving your SAT score was provided by Jake Davidson at Veritas Prep.

The SAT is not your average test. It’s impossible to cram for and perform optimally because it requires adequate preparation. Instead of approaching the SAT as just another test, the best way to succeed on the exam is to treat it like a kind of competition. Whether they see it Wan athletic event, a science fair, an art exhibition or any other type of practice-heavy match, students who take the SAT should begin by thinking they must prepare intensely for an important event.

Gearing up mentally for the test by thinking of the test makers as your competition is the best way to succeed. A laser-like focus is necessary to take your score to the next level. As with any big event, you should do certain things to prepare. Here are the three most critical aspects to incorporate into your daily routine:

Consistent review. Consistency is the key in preparing for any big game. Doing something once or twice is not effective. Whether it is sporadically studying vocabulary or doing a practice section a couple of times a month, not getting into a consistent routine will hamper your performance. Create a daily schedule that is manageable is the key. Getting overwhelmed by trying to do too much, or thinking you can conquer the entire test in one review session, is the surest way to get stressed-out.

A much more productive alternative is to lay out a schedule that is reasonable and easily attainable and then build on it weekly to strengthen your overall preparation. Whether this means starting with five minutes or 20 minutes of vocabulary, start in a range that makes you feel comfortable. Preparing should be something you can do every day and not get overwhelmed, and it should make you feel good after a session. Striking this balance will propel you forward.

In general, a good practice session consists of vocabulary, test review, and doing either a new practice section or learning a new concept.

Eat healthfully and exercise. These are best practices for life, but they are even more essential to success when it comes to the SAT. Exercise doesn’t mean running a marathon; it’s mainly about staying active. Whether it involves playing a sport or walking around the block, exercise can help keep your mind fresh. SAT material can feel monotonous, so having a clear head helps with preparation. The same appliers to food: Proteins and natural sugars keeps up your energy level—great not only for practice and review but on test days. You don’t want to feel sluggish during a review session. Eating what makes you feel energized offers the best approach.

Avoid anxiety. A lot of problems students have with the SAT are self-manufactured. The test is easily coached and with enough hard work and guided preparation, anyone can succeed. It is not worth getting stressed over because you can control the outcome. All it takes is a consistent routine and diligent work. Stressing out will take the focus away from the material and decrease your motivation. If you are confident and excited about the test, you can improve your performance. While mindset is an underrated aspect of SAT preparation, it contributes a lot success—just as in sports.

Plan on taking the SAT soon? Take advantage of Veritas Prep’s free SAT resources, including free SAT video lessons.

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