Get through the SAT

by thomasmandin

In this article I share all what I learned during my junior year. Please read it every now and then. It'll help you so much on your ride to college.

Crack the SAT

This article is so much different from other programs cause here I give you all what I learned during my junior year. I scored 1810 on the SAT and 740 on the Math Section which is going to be my focus throughout this lens. Please read it every now and then. It'll help you so much on your ride to college.

SAT In General

The test starts with the Essay Section and ends in a writing section.


The SAT examines your knowledge from Grade 1 till grade 11, so if you were able to browse old Math books, or just check the titles of the lessons, you'll definitely find out that the SAT Math isn't new at all. That also goes for the Writing and Reading (English) Sections. If your English is built on a strong basis, you'll just need a little practice.

-The SAT test is divided into 10 sections:
Reading Part (3 Sections):
Writing Part (Essay Section and 2 Grammar Sections)
Math Part (3 Sections)
1 Random section (Reading, Writing, or Math)

SAT Reading

-Reading is divided into 3 sections

-The Total no. of questions in Reading is 67

(24,24,19 questions respectively on each section)
-The Reading section examines your ability to:

-Read fast
-Think from the reader's perspective
-Analyze the questions

-Last thing is, when he asks you what does this word mean, he's definitely asking you to find another meaning for the word, not the first meaning. And you have to read the word in context given.

-My insights:

-There are three types of questions in the reading section: (Sentence Completion, Short Passages, and Long Passage)
-This is how to get along with each one:

For Sentence Completion you won't get away from learning some new vocab.

Here's are my recommendations on how to start learning new Vocabulary:
-Read newspapers, I mean it! The test makers expect you to know about several topics like political history, business, and other topics you would find in newspapers.
-Read novels! Most of the passages are excerpts of novels and articles so read novels.
-Try to know the meaning of most of the major words in a writing. Remember when you were a little kid and the teacher told you don't read word by word. To learn SAT Vocab, it isn't a must to read word by word, but you need to know the meaning of the major words. Keep a notebook for new words. And you have a plenty of time so study 5 words a day! And what I mean by study is to know the meaning of the word and to know how to use the word in context.

-The other thing you need to know for sentence completion questions is the rule of three(It works!):
1-Find the keywords (Underline them)
2-Guess the meaning
3-Eliminate the irrelevant words

Next we have Short passages:

-This also needs you to know vocabulary (use the techniques on the previous page)

-When answering short passages you need to read and analyze. I mean that the answer isn't in the passage, it's behind the words of the writer. (Read what's in between the words of the writer)

-In short passages read the whole passage, don't skip any part. You'll find it easy!

Next we have Long passages:

-This also needs you to know vocabulary

-When answering long passages, you should read the whole passage, because by the time you finish reading, the given duration will be over.

-In this type of passage, you don't have to read between the line. I'll tell you what's more than this, you don't have to think to get the answer.

Types of questions on long passages:

-You have questions that will ask you about a part from line x to line y. In this case, go to line x start reading 2 or 3 lines before. Then, when you reach line y, read also 2 or 3 lines after. The answer is in the passage, but definitely not in the given lines.

-Also you should know that the questions are given in the order of the passage, but sometimes he starts with a question about the main point of the passage. You will certainly leave this question till the end.

-Also sometimes you're asked to find the tone of the passage (Humor, skeptical, or serious) which is equivalent to the voices of writing. So it's very important to know how to define the tone(voice) of the passage.

SAT Writing

SAT Essay: It's a persuasive essay that's asking you to give your opinion on a certain topic with whether yes or no. Write it down in your questions booklet and write if yes why, and if no why. But don't mix between both, just stick to one.

-Writing is divided into 3 sections

-The Total no. of questions in Reading is 49

2 MCQ Sections (35,14 questions respectively on each section)
Essay section
-The Writing section examines your ability to:
Listen to the sentence
Identify Errors in a sentence

-My insights:

-There are three types of questions in the writing section: (Identifying sentence error, improving sentences, and improving passage)

-For Identifying sentence Error:

It's time for using your ears. Most of the time it's correct. But for difficult questions, use your knowledge of grammar. Read the sentence more than once. One of the most occurring questions are those who have wrong verb tenses, you have to fix it to have equal tenses.
My recommendation: Practice, Practice, and Practice!!

-For Improving Sentences:

First and before looking at the answers, spot the error in the question, identify it and then look for your answer within the answers.

Another technique is to eliminate all answers with -ings.

Last technique: Eliminate all answers that are passive, choose the active one
Of course these techniques are not everything for this part, but they are the most frequently occurring.

-For Improving Paragraphs:

It's just like improving sentences, but in a form of a passage.

There are some other types of questions here that aren't really related to the writing section.
My recommendation: Read the whole passage, deal with it as a short passage(Reading section), and understand what the topic goes around because you'll find him asking you what's the best sentence to add after sentence x.

SAT Math

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Main points you should know:

- There are 3 sections:
1st Section: 20 Multiple Choice Questions
2nd Section: 1o MCQ, and 8 Grid-in Questions
3rd Section: 16 Multiple Choice Questions

My insights:

-There are many resources I studied from:
McGraw Hill Math Workbook: Basics of Math
Gruber's Math Workbook: Intermediate Math
Barron's Math Workbook: Advanced Math
You can study 15 pages everyday.

-Don't rush to start SAT courses. Start reading the resources I stated formerly, knowing that it's written in simple English, which I consider self-study resources.

-Practice makes perfect!! It's really true. The more you answer the more you get to know the test and become more comfortable with it.

-Practice with timing; the most important part in studying is to study with timing. Not from the first time of course, but as you get used to answering start to set an alarm beside you. It might be your cell phone (one I used). Even try to set the alarm to a duration less than the given. For example, if a section says 25 minutes, set the alarm for 20 or 15 minutes. It works!!

Thanks For Reading

Hope I was able to reach my message, and wish you all great scores on the SAT

Please leave your comment. Your feedback mean a lot to me.

Great Links that will Help You

The Collegeboard Official SAT Website
Here you could find everything you need to know about the SAT and Register for taking the SAT Test.

Cliffnotes SAT
Here you can find daily questions to answers and also some SAT books if interested

My Blogs. Please check them out!!

How to do it on Your Own
A website dedicated to teaching people how to do everything on their own.

Folks Talks
This website is made for people who find passion in sharing their experiences and inspiring everyone around them with lessons they've learned.

DLK Development - Leadership - Knowledge
This website is made for people who want to develop, lead, and know more.

Books for SAT you have to buy!!

The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd edition


College Board  / $21.99  $11.55
Cracking the SAT, 2012 Edition (College Test Preparation)

If you need to know it, it's in this book! Cracking the SAT, 2012 Edition includes everything you need to know to master the Math, Critical Reading, and Writing sections of ...

Princeton Review  / $21.99  $1.50

Books to buy from ebay!!


Time left: 3 weeks, 6 days
Fixed price: $18.46  Buy It Now

KALLIS' Redesigned SAT Pattern Strategy 2016 + 6 Full Length P...

Time left: 6 days, 13 hours
Fixed price: $32.53  Buy It Now

6 Practice Tests for the SAT 2017 Edition (College Test Prepar...

Time left: 1 week, 2 days
Fixed price: $12.73  Buy It Now

Self Study VS Private Lessons

Is it better to study on your own or go for private lessons?

Updated: 08/17/2011, thomasmandin
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