Is My SAT Score Good Enough?

Sat Score

For many high school students taking the SAT for the first time, looking at your scores can be puzzling. It’s not easy to know if your scores are good enough for the colleges you are applying to or if you should retest in the hopes of raising your scores. A “good” SAT score is different for every student and depends on your plans for the future, your career of choice and your college goals.

While going through the process of searching for your college of choice, you’ll want to take a look at the numbers in the area of college ranking and admissions. A good rule of the thumb when it comes to the SAT scores for each college is to look for the 25 – 75th percentile. This is a good way to get a feel for where most students rank. There will always be exceptions on both ends of the scale, some with very high scores and others who may have entered with other qualifications but lower scores, but this is a good general rule to follow. Something you can ask about is if the college offers bonuses for those with higher scores which may include things such as the possibility of testing out of certain classes during your first year of college, merit based grants or other such perks.

To give some examples, the 25 – 75th percentile scores for Stanford University are 2000 – 2310 and the 25 – 75th percentile scores for Harvard University are 2100 – 2380. For another example, the 25 – 75th percentile scores for the University of San Diego are 1700 – 2030. As you work on translating your scores, identifying these numbers will help you greatly in understanding where your scores should be in order to apply to and attend the colleges of your choice. Having specific goals in mind will make it much easier for you to see and know if your SAT scores are good enough as your final scores or if you may want to work on improving your scores and retake the test a second or third time.

In the event that your SAT scores fall in the average range of those of your school of choice, you might still want to work on them in order to increase your chances of being accepted. One tried and proven way to help you in your SAT prep in through online SAT prep courses. On the other end of the scale, if your scores are way above the ones you need, you may be just fine and use those SAT scores and choose not to retest.

Another thing worth taking a look at are the different subject areas and how they breakdown. Usually, colleges like to see students with well-rounded scores, in other words, not having very low scores in some areas and very high scores in others. It’s normal to have a bit of variation between your scores, especially in the areas of your interest and talent where you may excel. If, however, your scores are too uneven, it may be good to do further SAT prep whether through personal study, tutoring or online SAT prep courses. Take some time to work on the subject area you are weaker in and then retake the test to up your scores.

For more information on B Line Test Prep’s SAT prep, check out their free SAT online course.

Knowing Which SAT Questions to Skip

Which SAT Questions to Skip

On the SAT, each question will fall into one of three categories: questions you can answer, questions you can’t answer, and questions you could probably answer if you had enough time. This last category is where the right strategy can really help you to improve your score.

When to Move On

For starters, you need to recognize when it’s time to move on to the next question. If you spend too long trying to solve any one problem, you run the risk of not even making it to other questions that you definitely could have answered correctly.

Additionally, if you spend too much time on a question that’s too hard, you waste time that you could have spent correctly figuring out a harder, but still solvable, question.

If, on first read, you can’t eliminate even one answer choice, skip the question entirely. Your time is better spent on questions where you are more familiar with the material.

If you can eliminate one or more answer choices quickly, but narrowing the choices down to just one correct answer is taking too much time, come back later. You should make your way once through the entire section and answer every item that you can solve with minimal effort first, then go back through a second time to tackle the more challenging items.

When to Guess

Understanding when it’s in your favor to guess on the SAT, versus when it will hurt you, comes down to mathematics. Remember, each question has five answer choices. An incorrect answer reduces your raw score by 0.25, while a correct answer is worth 1 point.

Let’s pretend for a moment that you don’t even look at any of the questions and just randomly select bubbles on your answer sheet. Odds are that you would be correct one-fifth of the time — but you would be wrong four-fifths of the time. For each 1 point you gained, you would lose 0.25 points, four times. 4 * 0.25 = 1, so this cancels out the 1 point you gained, leaving you with a net score of zero.

However, if you can eliminate just one answer choice, the odds are now in your favor to guess. Now, random guesses would give you a correct answer once every four times, and an incorrect answer three out of four times. 1 point – (3 * 0.25) = a net gain of 0.25 raw points.

The bottom line: if you can confidently eliminate just one answer, you should guess instead of leaving the answer blank.

 

Create a Code Language

So, you’ve made your way through the entire section once and answered all the questions you knew you could. You have seven minutes left, and it’s time to make your way back through the section a second time to take a stab at some of the questions you left for later. But…which questions were those, again?

Make the most of those precious last few minutes in each section by clearly marking each question in your test booklet, so you can see at a glance which questions — and which answer choices within that question — are still in need of your attention.

Circle questions to which you want to return. These items are the ones to which you want to draw the most attention, as you’ll need to be able to spot them quickly during the last few minutes of the section. When you go back through, you’ll have no trouble spotting the circled items. Don’t be afraid to make big, bold circles — remember, you want to catch your attention when you’re flipping back through the test booklet.

Draw a large question mark over questions that seem too hard. You don’t want to spend your valuable time on these items instead of easier ones, but there’s always the chance you’ll still have an extra couple of minutes at the end to give these a second look. Remember, if you can eliminate even one answer choice, you make it worth your while to take a stab and guess.

For answer choices, cross out choices that you are confident are wrong. This will save you from having to look again at choices that you’ve already ruled out.

Having trouble deciding between two answers? Lightly circle them to indicate they’re your preferred answers. When you come back, you’ll know immediately that you think you found (or narrowed down) the answer, but that you should still consider the other options.

 

 

Leave Yourself Hanging

When you realize you have to move on and leave a question unanswered, make it as easy as possible to pick back up where you left off if you have time at the end to return to it. While the next step in the equation may seem obvious to you in the moment, the memory won’t be as fresh by the time you make your way through the rest of the test.

Before starting the next question, jot down a quick phrase or note reminding yourself of what the next step should be. If it’s a math problem, write the next equation if you can–but don’t solve it.

Not sure what the next equation is? Erase the last answer that you did calculate, leaving the calculation itself. While moving back a step might seem strange at first, when you come back later, being able to jump right in will help jog your memory, and can shave precious seconds off the time it takes to finish.

SAT Prep – Then and Now

As the next generation of this country’s youth stand poised, preparing to leap forward into adulthood and the world, they are leaping into a far different world than the one many of their parents braved. Communication happens in an instant, any place in the world is but a few mouse-clicks away, prices for even the most basic of needs are rising on a global scale, and the job market is more competitive and ruthless than it has ever been. Even with all these changes, there is still three little letters that can cause the most confident of students to worry: SAT.

With college admissions being as competitive as ever and the job market still suffering in many places, a college education is as important as ever. One of the most daunting hurdles between many students and their future college careers is the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT. One test and the number it provides is the difference, for many students, between acceptance and rejection when it comes to college applications.

Fortunately, in all the changes the digital age has brought into the world, there have been some major advances in SAT prep courses. SAT prep was once an expensive affair, requiring students to set aside time for extra classes and their parents to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on books and administration fees. Even with the books and fees, many times, prep courses overflow with students. Lost in the crowd, these students sometimes miss valuable personal attention that would make the difference between average scores and excellent scores.

Now, with the Internet, it is possible for a student to get a fully customized SAT prep course built to suit their needs. Students can take learn the information and take the practice tests on a timetable that suits their lifestyle. If there are any questions or trouble areas, it is as simple as reviewing the material and practicing until they know the content. With feedback and the ability to track their progress, confidence builds in a visible and meaningful way, allowing students to walk into their SAT with the knowledge that they can, and will, do well.

Best of all, this can now be obtained for free. With such an importance placed upon higher education in the workplace and global economy, there are very few things that a person can do at absolutely no cost to increase their chances of success. With no time obligations or upfront fees, what once was a service available to those who could afford it, is now easily accessible and ready to help anyone willing to take the time and take advantage of the offerings.

Tips for Retaking the SAT

Colleges and Universities schools rarely consider students with scores below their standards, so getting as close to their school’s average or above puts an applicant as an advantage. Unfortunately, not everyone receives their ideal score after taking the SAT just once.

Maybe the first time you took the SAT you didn’t prepare. You told yourself you were going to and maybe even bought a book to help you review but just never put in the time. Maybe you were the exact opposite and enrolled in a prep course, spent every weekend studying and carried vocabulary flashcards around with you and all of that work still didn’t amount to the score you wanted. Both are common scenarios and there is an answer for you if you fit into one of these two categories.

The SAT is not like the usual test you will face in high school, so it makes sense to utilize a strong SAT prep course that fits into your schedule. The idea is to get comfortable with the format and learn strategies to maximize results. Timing is very important throughout the SAT. Each of the three main sections has three subsections, each with its own time limit. In general, the easy questions are at the beginning and harder questions come at the end, but this is not always the case. One strategy you can explore and practice online is to blitz through an entire multiple-choice section, answering the questions that you’re at least somewhat sure of but marking some for review later. Just skip questions that are confusing or too difficult, but leave a few minutes at the very end to go back and guess at the answers. A blank counts as a wrong answer, so don’t leave any question blank.

By not even knowing what to expect on the test, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You won’t be nearly as confident and probably won’t get through as many questions as you would have hoped. On the other hand, by studying too much, you’re essentially drowning your brain with an overload of information so when it comes time for common sense questions, you’ll end up overanalyzing and probably miss questions that you shouldn’t.

By enrolling in a free online SAT prep course, you can move at your own pace and take breaks as often as possible. Unlike a classroom, you won’t get left behind on questions you don’t understand or stay stuck on skills already mastered. You can track your own progress and create a study plan that works for you. The course includes as many as eight timed practice tests. Taking these will help you get comfortable with the SAT format, which can do a lot to help you reach your best score. After taking the test twice, you’ll know for sure where your strengths and weaknesses are; which sections you score highly on, and which give you trouble.

How Much Time Should I Spend Studying For The SAT?

Taking the SAT is an important step when planning to attend college. Every student has a different learning style, so the time spent studying and preparing for the SAT varies greatly. It is recommended to take the PSAT first to measure the base score and then sign up for a free online SAT prep course to increase these results.

After analyzing the scores received for the PSAT, students are encouraged to take between six to twelve weeks to prepare for the final test, even if they were satisfied with their preliminary marks. It’s important to be have a strong understanding of the test layout as well as the types of questions that will be asked.

Scores can always be improved, so students are encouraged to take a few hours each week to study for the actual SAT in order to achieve higher results when it really counts. Resources like free SAT prep courses are available in order to receive practice questions and study suggestions for the test. Users of these tools can select questions from reading, mathematics and writing sections depending on areas they need the most improvement. With the lessons offered throughout these courses, students can learn at their own pace while getting useful feedback on subject areas where they need the most improvement. Also, practice tests can be taken several times and it is recommended to do so over the weekend, in order to get adjusted to waking up early in preparation of the real test. By studying with practice questions, students can gauge their improvement over the course of a few weeks.

SAT prep can make a difference when applying for scholarships and getting into first-choice colleges and universities. By enrolling in online SAT prep courses and utilizing the tools of free SAT prep, students can significantly improve their scores and by following these steps, they will learn study skills that prove useful in furthering their education.

Learning versus Memorizing Vocabulary Words

Studies show that vocabulary is one of the best indicators of intelligence. Standardized tests like the SAT focus heavily on this in the reading comprehension and essay sections to demonstrate the ability to form abstract ideas and communicate them. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there are more than one hundred thousand words in the English language. This is why it is important to start increasing your vocabulary early. But, picking up the dictionary and memorizing each word is not the best approach.

There is a huge difference between memorizing and learning. When memorizing, there is only a shallow glimpse into the full potential of the word. Maybe you know how to spell it and pronounce it. But, do you know the depths of its meaning? Not understanding the full meaning of a word can create a barrier when it comes creating sentences with the word or understanding abstract ideas when the word is used in reading material.

A great way to increase your vocabulary, especially if you are looking to enhance your scores on college entrance exams, is online SAT prep. Standardized test prep helps you learn rather than memorizing by introducing the word in the context that it is used. This is particularly true in the reading comprehension section of the exam. It also allows you to practice your knowledge of how a word should be used on the essay section. When taking a practice SAT exam, you will be exposed to dozens of unfamiliar words. The free SAT course goes at your pace so take your time in order to learn new vocabulary.

You can also take these new words, learn the context and try to use it when talking to your family and friends. This will create association with the word. Now you haven’t memorized a new vocabulary word, you’ve learned it.

You can use online SAT prep for vocabulary building exercises daily. Set a goal of learning one to two words per day. You will have a better understanding of the reading section on the test and be able to write stronger essays.

Why do I need to study for the SAT?

Imagine standing up in front of thousands of your peers at your college graduation, having been chosen as a speaker because you were president of the Student Engineering Club and the Association of Medical Student-Doctor Alliance, not to mention founder of the Beginner’s Salsa Club and a beloved personality on the campus talk radio show. Basking in self confidence you have been slowly acquiring for the past years since you were accepted to your number one choice school, you give your mother a wink and chuckle to yourself when you notice her crying and smiling with tears of pride. Suddenly a word comes to mind. “Approbation”. This word means, “praise” such as “The crowd welcomes the heroes with approbation.” You realize you remember when you first learned this word. It was on a SAT test prep years ago. You remember those long hours spent huddled over your grueling flashcards that still had damp spots from when you fell asleep at three in the morning on a school night and all of the high school football games you missed out on and think to yourself, “It was so worth it.”

You may think you are naturally gifted and privileged just because you took the first step and signed up to take the SAT, but to achieve true success and this above scenario takes hard work and dedication, even for the naturally gifted. The SAT is designed to test skills learned throughout your high school career so it should seem like common sense but how often are you really brushing up on the algebra 1 class you took in ninth grade or vocabulary words that you crammed in the night before the test? Preparing with a free SAT test prep gives you a chance to learn the set up of the test and familiarize yourself with the types of questions you’ll be asked. This also opens doors for all types of scholarships based on your SAT scores.
While having confidence about the SAT test will be beneficial, don’t blow off preparing. Take a free SAT prep course so you can earn the best score possible.

For more information, visit B Line Test Prep

Top 10 Ways to Flunk the SAT

There are many ways to improve your SAT scores, you can take practice tests, create a study plan, and budget your time accordingly leading up to test day. If that doesn’t sound like much fun, there are also some surefire ways to flunk the SAT.

1. Forget answering the questions, use your time to make elaborate designs in the answer bubbles. Make zig-zags and swirls for the first few sections. When that gets old, try writing something out in Morse code. A’s are dashes and B’s are dots. The College Board will be impressed by your creativity!

2. Show up at the wrong testing center. Argue with the people there. When you realize that it actually was your mistake, sit on the steps outside and wait until it’s time to go home.

4. Take out your cell phone during the test. When questioned, explain that you need to use your lifeline and phone a friend for question 8. Put your friend on speakerphone and start reading questions aloud.

5. Forget a pencil; bring only a box of crayons. Answer questions with illustrations. You want to show off your skills and uniqueness with your 24-pack of Crayolas.

6. Read through the test, then use the pages as a way to practice your Origami skills. Who needs college when you have mastered the ability to make paper boats?

7. Leave the testing location halfway through. This test takes too long anyway.

8. Save all of your studying until the last 72 hours before the test. Stock up on energy drinks and stay awake the entire time cramming for the SAT. Study your heart out! Everything will be fresh! When you sit down to take the test, write your name and then immediately pass out on the desk. Goodnight, SAT.

9. Forget to wear your contact lenses or bring your glasses to the test. Spend the first part of the test squinting at the paper and holding it at various distances from your face. Run out of time on each section while you’re still working on reading the instructions.

10. Look at an SAT practice test ten minutes before you have to leave to take your test. Better yet, glance at it in the parking lot outside the testing location. No one studies for these things, right?

Ok, so you bombed it on the SAT. Maybe you didn’t try to, maybe it just happened or you had a legit excuse. The one thing to keep in mind is that you can take this test as many times as you want to and only your highest score counts. So stop beating yourself up and make up for it by preparing for at least three months prior to the test.

2011 SAT Test Dates and Registration Information

For high school students planning to take the SAT in 2011, it is time to start thinking about testing dates. To register for the SAT, students should sign in to the College Board’s Web site and complete the necessary steps.

There are three deadlines to keep in mind for each testing date: the original registration deadline, the late registration deadline, and the changes deadline. The main reason to register by the original deadline is to avoid extra fees for taking the SAT. Registration by the original deadline is $47. Registering after the deadline, but before the late registration deadline will cost an additional late fee of $24. Making changes to your testing date or location before the changes deadline costs an additional $24. Each deadline is at midnight Eastern Standard Time on the date indicated.

Preparing well in advance with a solid plan for SAT test prep and a schedule of when you will need to take the tests will ensure that you can register on time and go through with each test without changes. Be sure to choose the right test location the first time to avoid having to make changes after registering for the SAT.

Registration deadlines for each of the 2011 test dates are as follows:

For the January 22 test, students should try to register by December 23 or late registration by January 7. Changes are due by January 5.

For the March 12 test date, registration is due by February 11, late registration by February 25, and changes by February 23.

For the May 7 test, registration is due by April 8, late registration by April 22, and changes by April 20.

For the June 4 test, registration is due by May 6, late registration by May 20, and changes by May 18.

For students with religious observances on Saturdays, Sunday testing is available the day following each SAT testing date. To get a Sunday test date, students must use the code 01000 on their paper registration form. It is also necessary to submit a written explanation from the cleric on letterhead from the student’s religious organization.

Registering for the SAT early is also a great way to give students a firm deadline to design their studying plan. For some students, having that set date will help them to organize their SAT test preparation and stay on track in the months ahead.

Click Here for more information on how B Line Test Prep can get you ready for the SAT

Junior Year SAT Prep Plan

Junior year is often the most busy and challenging year of high school. Many juniors have the most rigorous class schedule that they have had so far in their academic career. They are also balancing leadership positions in extracurricular activities, choices about colleges, and responsibilities both inside and outside of the classroom.

This is also the best year for students to get serious about SAT preparation. Juniors should plan out their schedule well in advance to allow plenty of time to study for the SAT and plan to take the test multiple times during the year.

Juniors have the luxury of plenty of time for preparation. They can take the test as many times as possible without worrying about deadlines for college applications. Juniors can space out the tests throughout the year so that they are able to study and focus on trouble areas in between taking the test. Many students will enjoy having the extra time to study and knowing that they are well prepared and even ahead of schedule on their SAT preparation.

Many high school seniors will have college applications due in November of their senior year. With many students opting to apply early decision to a college, applications are often due sooner than ever before. For these students, it is important to have their final SAT scores done by early in the fall.

Juniors can take an online SAT course that will allow them to study on their own schedule and work at a pace that feels right for them. With each SAT practice test, students will feel more comfortable with the format of the SAT and the material that they will need to know for the test.

Having SAT scores before senior year gives students a lot of relief and flexibility. They can focus entirely on preparing their college applications and choosing the right school without lingering questions about their SAT scores. Having SAT scores in hand will also ensure that students are applying to the right schools and choosing safety schools that are best suited to their performance on the SAT.

Junior year is a time to work hard and build strong time management and study skills. Solid efforts junior year will allow students to breathe a sigh of relief and enter senior year feeling prepared to complete the college application process.

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