The reading section of the SAT® test may take practice and experience to reach your full scoring potential.
When preparing for the SAT exam, the most important thing is to gain experience with the questions and passages you will encounter on test day. Practice exams are a realistic way to gain experience with the test’s format, timing, difficulty, and style. They also serve to provide you with data that pinpoints your weak spots, and you can use this data to create a study plan. When taking practice tests, we have three key tips to improve your study plan: always test in a realistic testing environment, discover your weak points, and pay extra attention to questions you must guess on.
Realistic testing environment
As you prepare for the exam, you should create an environment close to the official testing setting. Beyond the experience you are gaining with accurate and realistic practice tests, you should also dedicate part of your studying to gaining experience with realistic timing. This means that you should recreate the time limits for the reading section. It also means that you should take your practice exams on Saturday mornings (like you will on the official test day). You want each practice test to mimic the real one. The results you receive on these practice exams create realistic expectations for your scores on the official SAT test. It is important to ensure your expectations for scoring are accurate. If you take practice exams and score well in an environment that is modified, and then score low on test day, then it is safe to assume that the testing conditions played a large role in your performance.
Practice weak spots.
While practicing for the reading section, you want to be sure that you are studying efficiently. The best way to practice is by focusing on your weak areas. Your score report will provide an analysis of your performance for each section. You should use the performance tracking to make a study plan, then be sure to understand why you answered each question incorrectly.
Note the questions you had to guess on.
When taking your practice exams, noting the questions you guess on is an important step for your study plan. If you select the correct answer by chance and don’t review that question after receiving the results, then encountering that same question type on test day is a high risk for guessing incorrectly. You can learn from the questions you are unsure of, and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to improve a weak spot before test day.
UWorld’s SAT Prep course offers thousands of realistic sample questions and passages in our practice exams. Try them out in a realistic testing environment to prepare for test day. You can use the results provided by our performance tracking tools and incorporate them into your study plan. We have detailed explanations for many sample problems, so you can learn from your mistakes and make improvements in the future. These practice techniques and an efficient study plan are sure to help you meet your goals!