Guest Post from Alan Hatfield: There’s Still Time to Up Your Score

The dreaded March SAT test date is upon us this Saturday.  Whiz kid Alan Hatfield, who scored a perfect 2400 on the test and went on to guest edit the 2011-2012 edition of Up Your Score (that’s him in red on the cover), joins us with some tips in this guest post:

It’s the week before the SAT. You’ve spent weeks, if not months, poring through reams of vocabulary flashcards and meticulously reviewing your subsection scores on practice test after practice test. By now, you should have a good idea of which sections you’ve made the most progress in and which sections are your strong suit. So how do you make the most of the final sprint?  Over the course of the next few days, take some time each night to go through practice questions from your two weaker subsections. If you have or can find some practice tests, go through individual sections each night, focusing on simulating a testing atmosphere. This means you should be giving yourself just as much time as on the real test, just to make sure that you’re ready for the rigors of fast test taking. Focus on being comfortable while working in a rushed manner, since your most valuable weapon on test day will be a clear and focused mind along with confidence in your answers.

Once you hit Thursday night, spend a couple hours going through practice questions from all three sections. You don’t have to time yourself: Just focus on developing your unique pace, answering questions only as fast as you can confidently and completely. By this point, you will be able to predict the various kinds of questions you’ll encounter, so practicing with individual questions as opposed to sections will be your best option.

On Friday night, take a half hour to go through a few individual questions from your weakest section, but make sure you don’t take a full practice test. You’ll want to save your energy for Saturday morning, so eat a full, healthy dinner and after your short review session, blast your theme song to get yourself psyched. By the time you wake up on Saturday morning, you’ll feel comfortable and confident. The rest will be history.

For a more comprehensive study plan, check out Up Your Score!  Good luck to everyone taking the test Saturday–may you hit the triple-800 jackpot.

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