It’s hard to believe it’s February already! Perhaps even more disconcerting is the fact that the March SAT is just one short month away. Whether you already have one or two official exams under your belt or you’ll be taking your first in March, you’ll need to make good use of these next few weeks.
Is this your first official exam?
If so, you may be feeling quite nervous – this is completely normal! Regardless of how much prep work you’ve done and how many proctored practice tests you’ve sat through, the official exam feels different. This time, it is, well, official; this is a score that you’ll likely send to universities, and that increased pressure makes it feel like a new experience in a lot of ways. This is a major reason why most students do not achieve their best scores on their first official exam. Plan on retaking the exam in May or next autumn – having these backup tests in mind can help reduce the pressure you feel this time around.
Also keep in mind that many of the universities you’ll apply to will create a superscore from all your different test dates, so a strong score in even a single section of this exam is a great success and can help you enter into future exams with more confidence.
Have you sat for an official SAT already?
In this case, you already know what you’re walking into – there won’t be any big surprises or differences from your previous administrations. Having official scores also gives you a good idea of where your strengths lie and where you have the most opportunity for improvement. Spend this month reaffirming the former and bolstering the latter; your tutor can help you focus on specific skills that will help maximise your performance.
Have you already spent months preparing for this exam?
If so, those first few lessons you had with your tutor may feel like a distant memory. Along with continuing to hone in on more advanced or nuanced questions, now is a great time to revisit the fundamentals! After weeks or months of work, it can be easy to become lax about circling questions, showing work, writing out main ideas, or conscientiously applying anticipation and elimination.
Have you just started your prep work?
Fear not – it’s not too late! Focus on learning the skills that will allow you to access the most points, like our Maths techniques and grammar fundamentals; work through more practice material to gain some experience with the questions you’ll encounter on test day; and go through general testing strategy, including timing strategies for each section. Approaching this exam from a strategic standpoint can help you optimise your results from this exam and lay a good foundation as you prepare for future administrations.
For all students, building confidence is a vital part of preparation! Gaining experience and reinforcing key skills can help you go into the March exam feeling ready to make the most of this opportunity. Good luck, and happy testing!