How to Score High on Your SAT

How to Score High on Your SAT

Ava Goren, Staff Writer

It’s almost that time of the year Juniors! SAT season! The SAT is a college preparation test that measures (mostly) Juniors’ literature and nonfiction text comprehension, their proficiency in Algebra One and Two and Geometry concepts, and their comprehension of English grammatical concepts and writing techniques. These tests are held at high-schools throughout the year with testing peaking in the Spring. Results are announced a month after the exam is taken. 

College admission officers all over the world probe college applicants’ SAT scores to determine if they can prosper at the university they represent. I know it may seem scary to know that this test holds significant weight in the college application process, but fret not. You don’t have to go into the testing room on SAT day empty-handed. Instead, arrive there with a vast understanding of the format of the exam, how it is graded, and how you can achieve your best possible score.

Take SAT Courses and Practice Tests:

There are many different courses designed to prepare students for the SAT. These courses can be digital or come in the form of a large textbook with plenty of practice tests to brace students. Online courses may be live or pre-recorded which means you can work on your own time. These courses teach the basic structure of the exam and also break down the different sections and types of questions you will see on each. They also aid you by disclosing shortcuts and strategies that will free up time on the exam for you. Junior student Sophia Torres exclaimed, “Right when I get home, I’m going to start signing up for the SAT.”. Torres told me that she has not studied for the exam thus far nor does she have any background knowledge about what it entails, but she’s planning on signing up for practice courses to teach her. 

The SAT is three hours and fifteen minutes long with 154 questions. It’s a time-crunch, but don’t worry. It isn’t designed for students to work through each math question or review the entire source on the reading section. No, it is designed to reward the students who know how to use shortcuts to master it. For example, one strategy I learned through use of the online SAT review course “Princeton Review” is to work out a math problem in “bite-sized-pieces”, or step-by-step. After each step, look back at the answer choices and eliminate any options that do not make sense.

The SAT is graded using the point-earning system, so students start at zero points and earn more every time they answer a question correctly. Because of this set-up, it’s important to answer every question. Otherwise, you’ll lose points. Another hack I learned from this practice course is to choose a “letter of the day”. This means that you choose one of the four multiple-choice letters and whenever you’re running out of time, you rush to fill in your “letter of the day” to make sure you earn as many points as possible. Moreover, remember that every question is worth the same amount of points, so it’s best to answer the easy ones first.


Before your test day arrives, go over geometry and algebra material as well as any SAT notes you took if you undertook a practice course.

Ask Connections Who Have Already Taken the Exam for Information and Advice:

If you have any siblings, cousins, friends, or coworkers who have already taken their SAT (and scored well), ask them for any tips they have or if there’s any additional information you should know before you take the exam.

Enjoy a relaxing night the day before your exam.

Stressing over the exam won’t prepare you for it. It will only distract your mind from remembering what it needs to know, so it’s better to chill out and pamper yourself with activities that soothe your mind, body, heart, and soul. “[My plan is to] take a good nap [the day before the exam].” informed Sophia Torres. Make sure you go to bed early too. 


The SAT is a lengthy and taxing exam, but if you start prepping for it now, you’ll have nothing to worry about when the big day arrives. Just remember these tips and take time out of your day to study for it, and you’ll walk out of that testing room feeling proud and relieved. Good luck Juniors!