sat5Is your heart set on an Ivy League education? Before sending your application form to the college of your choice, you need to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). It’s a standardized test that measures a student’s academic skills for college. Make sure you’re prepared by keeping in mind these five important factors to SAT success.

Enroll in a prep course at least six months before your exam.

You might opt to study with a prep book, but nothing beats being prepared for the real thing with a review class. AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center, the best tutorial and review center in the country, offers class-type reviews or one-on-one customized tutorial sessions that will prepare you for the SAT. The course helps you get a better grasp of the concepts commonly included in the SAT. You’ll not only have diagnostic and simulated exams, you’ll also learn test-taking techniques to assure on-the-day success.

The SAT takes 3 hours and 45 minutes.

The SAT is divided into 10 sections, each with its corresponding time limit. The writing section includes a 25-minute essay writing test, followed by two multiple choice subsections of 10 and 20 minutes. The critical reading test covers two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section, and zones in on literacy, comprehension of long and short paragraphs, and vocabulary. The math section includes two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section which focuses on algebra, statistics, and geometry. The last 25-minute test is considered the “experimental section” that may be on critical reading, writing, or math.

SAT questions can be tricky.

The key to a good SAT result is to understand the types of questions asked and how to answer them. Some of the questions can be long and circuitous, while others appear to be “trap” questions. Since the test instruction states to “choose the best answer,” take note of extreme words such as “always,” “never,” generalizations, and similar-sounding terms to help you eliminate choices.

The SAT is right minus wrong.

Before answering any question, make sure you are certain of your answer since you will be penalized for every incorrect answer. If you absolutely must answer the question, one trick to consider is using the process of elimination and taking an intelligent guess. If you’re not sure, skip the question and move on.

Pace yourself.

The SAT is a timed exam so you have to use each precious minute to the fullest. Most students who failed the exam usually ran out of time and had no choice but to answer each unanswered question blindly. It is best to take timed practice tests so you’ll have realistic expectations on how long the exam is and how long you’ll take to answer each question.

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