What should you do if you have about two weeks left until your test day? There’s a lot to cover, and there’s not much time to do it in, so you’re going to have to be smart about how you tackle SAT prep at this point. If you haven’t been studying the test at all up to now, you’re not in an ideal position, to be honest. But don’t be too hard on yourself—you still have the chance to at least bring yourself up a couple of points. And if you’ve been studying all along, then great; some of this still applies to you.
Take a Test-Run SAT
Get in one full-length practice test. It’s four and a half hours long, and it’s not exactly what you’d call “fun” (although a lot of students find that test is a lot more engaging than some school work), but it can really help your score. You’ll be a whole lot more confident when taking your SAT if you’ve seen it all before. And make sure you get the most out of the experience.
Hone The Skills You Already Have
When studying math especially, it’s time to make sure that you get the points you can from the topics you’re most comfortable with. Find which areas you’re strongest in, then focus your practice on those types of questions—you may not be able to get a new skill down so well with such little time, so refine what you do have already.
Don’t Go Into the Writing Unprepared
Get familiar with structuring your essay well. Write one or two practice SAT essays, then ask a parent or older friend to read it and summarize your point to see if you were clear enough. Then think of a few events or pieces of writing that you might be able to use for examples.
You don’t have enough time any more to study the nitty-gritty grammar, really, but go through a number of writing multiple-choice questions anyway to get a feel for the types of things that go wrong. You’ll want to be familiar with at least a couple types of errors to look for on your actual SAT writing questions.
Smart Vocab Cramming
It’s still possible to get a question or two right that you might miss otherwise by cramming vocab, but don’t try to get every SAT vocab word. Instead, focus on word roots (e.g. “cred”) and prefixes especially.
The Final Countdown
In the last day or so before the test, focus mostly on being in your best mental shape that day. You know: sleep well, eat well, all that. And then stop cramming—just keep up some general, relaxed practice instead.
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About Lucas Fink
Lucas is the teacher behind Magoosh TOEFL. He’s been teaching TOEFL preparation and more general English since 2009, and the SAT since 2008. Between his time at Bard College and teaching abroad, he has studied Japanese, Czech, and Korean. None of them come in handy, nowadays.
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