The May 2019 SAT test date is coming up this Saturday, which means now’s your last chance to get in every little bit of studying that you can…especially if you haven’t exactly been sticking to your study schedule.
But don’t worry! We’re here to help you make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible on your big day. In this video, Magoosh’s SAT expert Chris will give you 10 strategies for cramming in the final days before the SAT.
Just click on the embedded video below to watch “SAT Last Minute Tips: How to Cram”.
…Or scroll down for a full video transcript. 🙂
What Will I See in the “SAT Last Minute Tips: How to Cram” Video?
In this free 6-minute video, Magoosh’s SAT expert Chris will go over five strategies for letting go of stress to beat your test day jitters:
1. Expect to guess a little!
2. Skip around a little!
3. Don’t buy anything!
4. Do one section at a time!
5. Learn from your mistakes!
6. Rinse and repeat!
7. Work on your weaknesses!
8. Don’t try to cover everything!
9. Don’t study on test day!
If you like the video, don’t forget to hit Like, and subscribe to the channel for more study tips. And if you have any questions about how to prepare the SAT, write to us in the video comments section, and we’ll answer with advice! 🙂
“SAT Last Minute Tips: How to Cram” Full Transcript
Hi, this is Chris, the SAT expert at Magoosh.
And for the last 15 years, I’ve helped students ace the SAT.
And today, I’m gonna talk about the most important things you can do to cram for the SAT.
Okay, the first tip doesn’t have to do with cramming all this information in your head, which is kinda hard because you’re cramming it last minute.
And so I’m gonna tell you a little strategy here, a little tweak that you can make that can make a big difference right away, and that is never leave any answer choice blank.
There is no guessing penalty.
And so if you’re feeling a little frustrated or unsure, or you simply didn’t get to the end of the section, then those are potential points that can boost your score.
Guess on those, and that will definitely make a difference test day.
The second tip is also similar.
It’s not about digesting massive amounts of information, it’s making a simple tweak in terms of how you approach the test.
What I’m talking about here is, you do not have to do every question in order.
So skip questions if need be, why?
Well, a lot of students feel they have to get this one question right.
And if they don’t, something bad will happen.
It’s an irrational fear.
The test doesn’t award you more points just because you did the questions in order.
If a question is wasting your time, move on.
And if you have time, you can come back to it, and if you don’t have time, going back to the previous tip, then it never hurts to guess.
The next tip is gonna sound crazy, but it’s this.
Don’t buy any materials, what?
No, seriously, because they are free.
The best possible material that you can use to cram is completely free.
And that is the SAT practice test.
How do you find it?
Go to Google and type in SAT practice test 1.
And boom, just like that will pop up an SAT practice test.
And that is a major tip in of itself because this is the best material that you can find.
It is written by the College Board, the very people who write the questions that you will see tested.
And there’s no better practice and it’s free.
So the next tip is do a section at a time.
Now the reason I emphasize section is a lot of people give you the tip that hey, take a practice test.
But that’s like four hours of your time, which isn’t really reasonable when you’re cramming.
So instead, work on a section at a time.
Anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Once you’ve done that section, stop.
Figure out the ones that you missed, and then go back to those questions and try to get them right.
Again, if after a few minutes you can’t figure it out, then go check out the explanations.
The next tip flows out of the last one.
And once you’re done with the section, once you’re done reviewing the questions that you’ve missed, step back and say, okay what are three things that I’ve learned?
Three takeaways or three mistakes that I won’t make when I next take the test, whether it’s the next section that you take from a practice test or if it’s the actual practice test itself.
By forcing yourself to think of these three things, you’re less likely to make those same errors test day.
Okay, the next tip is to rinse and repeat.
What do I mean?
Well, if you’ve already done all of the sections of one practice test, then it’s time to do another one.
And again, the great news and what’s so amazing about this tip is it’s all free.
Again, go to Google, enter in SAT practice test.
Now, it’s time for practice test number two, so pipe in that two, and there it is, a free college board practice test waiting for you.
And this test has all new questions, totally different from the first one.
And so it’s preparing you more for what you can see on the test.
And if you do even more, you get to three and even four, then you’re seeing more and more of what the test can throw at you.
And you’re better prepared for test day.
Okay, the next tip is to work on your weaknesses and not your strengths.
What do I mean by that?
Well, we’re good at certain things and it’s easy to wanna just keep doing those, cuz it makes us feel good when we get the answer right.
Of course, when we get the answer wrong, we’re likely to feel frustrated and we don’t wanna try it more.
But the point is to actually work on those weaknesses, because that’s what’s gonna help you test day.
It’s becoming better at the stuff that you need the most help on, not becoming somewhat better on stuff you’re already good at.
The next tip is, and this is a really important one, don’t try to cover everything, why?
Well, we’re talking about cramming here.
There’s no way you can get everything in.
Don’t say, oh, I gotta pull an all-nighter so I can learn everything about clauses that there is to know under the sun.
Don’t do that.
Pick your battles and pick them wisely.
The next tip might be the single most important tip on this entire video, and that is do not study the day of the test.
I’ve seen this sabotage so many students who go in there, having woken up at 4:30 in the morning just to study some more, totally tired, totally frustrated, totally stressed out.
And it only hurts their test performance.
So do not be this person.
Instead, who do you want to be?
You want to be the relaxed person test day.
Don’t even think of test prep, the SAT.
Just think of [SOUND] breathing and relaxing.
Just as I am imparting that feeling to you right now.
And that is what’s gonna help you the day of the test.
The next tip, cram.
Cram in the sleep.
I’m serious, sleep makes such a huge difference on your performance in anything, whether it’s the SAT, or if it’s running a race.
And this has been shown time and time again in studies.
So cram in the sleep, and I don’t mean the day before.
Don’t say, hey, everyone, I’m going to sleep at 5 PM, not gonna happen.
But two or even three days before the exam, start going to bed around 9:30 or 10.
Give yourself that full eight or nine hours of sleep, and that way you can already start adjusting your body to it.
And that’s gonna make a much bigger difference than going on four hours of sleep each night and saying, I have been memorizing all these formulas in math.
Not gonna help you test day if you can’t stay awake.
If you liked this video, then click on the link in the description below.
That will take you sat.magoosh.com where you can join thousands of other students who are prepping for the SAT.
If you want more helpful tips and strategies, then check out the videos on the left.
And I will see you next time.
Looking for more SAT strategies?
Take a look at some of our other useful SAT study tips for preparing for your big test day:
- SAT Score Range: What’s a Good SAT Score for Colleges
- When Do SAT Scores Come Out? And Other SAT Score Release Facts You Should Know
- Perfect SAT Score! How 4 Students Scored a Perfect 1600 on the SAT (and more high score stories!)
Good luck on the test! 🙂
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About Molly Kiefer
Molly is one of Magoosh’s Content Creators. She designs Magoosh’s graphic assets, manages our YouTube channels and podcasts, and contributes to the Magoosh High School Blog.
Since 2014, Molly has tutored high school and college students preparing for the SAT, GRE, and LSAT. She began her tutoring journey while in undergrad, helping her fellow students master math, computer programming, Spanish, English, and Philosophy.
Molly graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a B.A. in Philosophy, and she continues to study ethics to this day. An artist at heart, Molly loves blogging, making art, taking long walks and serving as personal agent to her cat, who is more popular on Instagram than she is.
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