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The New SAT

  1. Dec 16, 2004 #1
    Help On SAT

    I took the new PSAT a few months ago and finally received my results. As I expected, they were horrible.

    When I took the test to keep doors open to school in America, I was surprised at how little time I was given to do parts of the test. 39 questions in 30 minutes - I just can't go that fast.

    I'm a slow eater, I stroll at a slow pace, my whole life is slow. So, I do mathematics at a crawl too. I didn't even get close to finishing the mathematics part of the test.

    I've scored above average on every assessment test I've taken before this. None gave me this little time.

    What are some of your strategeries to taking the SATs?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2004 #2
    for the verbal, the best advice i can say is read, read, read. it will help you with your grammar, reading speed, and reading comprehension. that's the best thing you can do to prepare for that section.

    the math section, however really depends on what level of math you're in. the PSAT doesn't have algebra II, but the new SAT does, so you should prepare for that. going to a math tutor and just practicing the problems will help you a great deal. maybe you could buy an SAT practice book, and work through that (going to your teacher for problems you don't understand, that way you can find out how to work those type of problems).

    in the writing section, you really need to find out what the graders are looking for. usually historical or literature examples in your essay are what will help.

    if you're willing to spend the extra bucks, you could go to an SAT prep course over the summer, or whenever you have free time. you could go to www.princetonreview.com for that.

    i hope that helps.
  4. Dec 16, 2004 #3

    what do u suggest i read in order to do well?? are magazines enough??
  5. Dec 16, 2004 #4
    it really depends on what magazines (though i think i read somewhere that even reading magazines such as Seventeen and such still help).

    it depends on what kinds of books you like. if you want a book strictly for vocab, try "Tooth and Nail." its a dictionary with a plot, basically.

    here are a few books that i have enjoyed:

    --"breakfast of champions" by kurt vonnegut (i love this guy to pieces-- any book of his will be an enjoyable and educating book in an insane way)
    --"1984" by george orwell.
    --"thurber carnival" by james thurber. just a series of stories he has written. all very funny (especially his comics in the back of the book).
    --"huckleberry finn" by mark twain. not so much in helping the vocab, that's for sure, but one of those "have to read" books.

    as for magazines, i really can't say. i don't want to tell you to go out and read popular mechanics, if you're favorite subject is pop stars and music. you should talk with your english teacher on better suggestions on what to read (because god knows english is not my forte).
  6. Dec 16, 2004 #5

    i took that too, but i really can't understand the test scores thought, i thought the SAT was graded out of 1600, but when i added up the scores it went beyond that.. :uhh:
  7. Dec 16, 2004 #6
    the new ones' scores go up to 2400.
  8. Dec 16, 2004 #7
    that explains it.. thank you
  9. Dec 17, 2004 #8
    Verbal: I did as well as I did because the analogies saved my life but I hear they got rid of these because I was the only kid in the universe who could do them or some such. For a lot of the questions, however, it's not going to be spelled out and you have to trust your intuition is what it comes down to.
    Math: The best thing to do here is practice SAT-like problems. More on this later.
    Writing: Here the essay is what can make or break you. It doesn't have to be long, mine was less then a page yet got nearly perfect marks, but you have to have a thesis and three examples lined up so blatantly you can see them from accross the room. Writing a quick outline in a minute or two can also help you organize your thoughts instead of just jumping into it.
    In general what helped me the most on the SAT was doing old tests really. I got one of those books with ten real SATs in it or whatever and just sat down and did one every once in awhile. Princeton Review has a pretty good book out for them and the College Board one isn't that bad either.
    Hope this helps and good luck!
  10. Dec 17, 2004 #9
    i usually read magazines like Forbes, The Economist and Business Week.... Shall reading the abovementioned books.. Thanks much :D
  11. Dec 17, 2004 #10
    I don't know about the NEW SAT, but two things that helped me on the old one with respect to speed was playing timed Windows Solitaire and doing practice exams on your own without time. You learn to concentrate and move fast on the Solitaire, and the practice SATs get you used to the material. I finished most of the sections, including work-checking, in only about 2/3 of the time given, sometimes half. My best Solitaire times were between 100 and 120 seconds, and some people can do it in under 60 seconds--so I'm not a natural fast thinker. With a little practice anyone can be fast enough for the SATs.
  12. Dec 17, 2004 #11

    I'm on a High School quiz team, and I know that in some instances speed is everything. The best way to get faster at something is to gain confidence in your abilities by studying and practicing. That way, you won't be second guessing yourself. Intrestingly enough, a private study showed that when students were allowed unlimited time on the SAT almost all of them answered
    every question correct. :cool:
  13. Dec 17, 2004 #12
    Wow, how long did that take them? It's already a 3 hour exam! (or it was when I took it) Anyway what about the things which no amount of figuring will help you on, which you have to just know, such as vocabulary? Were the students allowed dictionaries to get those right? Or were these just above-average students?
  14. Dec 17, 2004 #13
    I'll try that. I'll have to learn to play Solitaire 1st...

    I'm positive I would have scored near perfect on the reading and vocabulary sections with more time. I took an assessment test that was more difficult the year before but had an unlimited amount of time and got an extremely high score.

    On the PSAT, by the time I read the passage I realized how much time I had wasted. Plus, I was taught to read the questions first, which killed even more time.

    You can figure out some vocabulary by using latin or greek roots. A lot of us are taught to do that.
  15. Dec 17, 2004 #14
    Well, yes, there is room for "figuring" when dealing with vocabulary, but there is a certain point sometimes beyond which you're not going to know it by thinking more. Once you've exhausted possible similarities to words that you do know, word roots, the possible meanings it could have in context, and free association, you're probably not going to narrow your search further.

    On the Solitaire my times are for 1-card draw (actually, 1 card draw using double clicking on each card to send the cards to the four stacks, which takes about 10 seconds longer than using right-clicking to send them in groups). Another good concentration game is Minesweeper.

    Yeah, don't read the questions on the passages first. You can predict the kind of questions there will be and read for that. There will be questions about what the author is trying to say in certain paragraphs and overall, and these are what you do the first reading for. Other questions are more specific, about a line or two or a word, and for these it is faster to go back and reread. Of course, the new SAT may have different question types--can't help you there.
  16. Dec 18, 2004 #15
    i got a 890 on my psat and a 1240 on my sat so dont let it bum you down too much
  17. Dec 25, 2004 #16


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    Ya in grade 11 I got something like 1150 or 1200 on the PSAT and then a year later with no studying on the day after Halloween ( :surprised ) I pulled off a 1420. So it can be done.

    The verbal was a real ***** though. I guess if I really wanted to I could have memorized word lists but that seemed like cheating. The math is really easy though. I think I could have pulled off close to the 750 I got on the math in grade 8 or 9. The toughness in the math is not in the level of the math itself but the level of critical thinking involved.

    I didn't end up going to an American school anyway so it doesn't even matter!

  18. Dec 27, 2004 #17
    Don't worry about it too much.

    I had something in the 1000s (yes, that low) on my PSAT, and I pulled a 1460 on my SAT. I'm confident I could go higher with a retake.

    The new SAT.. Hmm..
    -For writing, maybe write a few practice essays (on suggested topics).
    -Verbal, don't concentrate on vocabulary, as analogies will be taken out. Read the whole passage and answer the questions. With practice, it will become an ease, and you will have plenty of time left over.
    -And on the math, hmph, I don't really know what to suggest; math kinda comes easy for me. Be sure to become more wary as you progress through the section - the questions get tricker. Also, review basic concepts.
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