SAT Preparation Tips: Section-Wise Tips, Best Books, Common Challenges

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SAT Preparation Tips: Section-Wise Tips, Best Books, Common Challenges

As one of the prominent standardized tests required to study abroad, the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) consists of three main sections, i.e. Reading, Writing and Mathematics with an essay as an optional one. SAT scores are mainly required to apply for undergraduate programs abroad, especially in countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia etc.

While gearing up for the SAT exam, it is necessary to know about the different preparation strategies you can utilise to fetch a high score in the exam. Read through this detailed blog imparting you with the best SAT preparation tips you must know to crack the exam with flying colours! 

Best Preparation Tips to Improve Your SAT Scores

The SAT exam comprises 3 main sections i.e., Reading, Mathematics, and Writing, as well as an optional section of the essay. To obtain a higher score, it is important to target each section individually. Here are the best tips and tricks for the SAT in 2024:

  1. To ace the SAT exam, you must stay abreast of the latest exam pattern. This will equip you with an understanding of the typical question types, optimal time allocation, question difficulty levels, and areas that need more work to improve your scores.
  2. Memorise and revise common maths formulas. This will empower you to breeze through the maths section of the SAT with confidence.
  3. Solve numerous SAT sample papers and practice tests to gain a deeper understanding of the exam and its intricacies.
  4. Emulate real-world exam conditions by setting time limits during your preparation. This will enhance your overall speed and accuracy while attempting the SAT, ultimately improving your time management skills. This can, in turn, prove to be a godsend during the actual exam.

SAT Preparation Tips for Evidence-based Reading and Writing

Two exams are included in this portion; the first is a reading test in which applicants must demonstrate how well they can read and comprehend the text. The SAT Writing test, on the other hand, asks candidates to read and edit the text.

Tips for Writing and Language on the SAT

  • There are two types of passages one where you must comprehend the passage’s premise or theme and one where there will be mistakes that you must spot after reading.
  • Although you may not have enough time to read the entire passage due to time constraints, you can respond to questions as you go along.
  • To locate the solution, read the first question, and then the first paragraph.
  • Try to comprehend the requirements for the response after thoroughly reading the question.
  • Each question is created to test your command of grammar, word choice, and sentence construction.
  • You must revise the basic grammar rules before practising the questions under this section. 
  • While attempting the test, do not select answers by focusing on what ‘looks’ right. Adhere to the grammar rules and answer accordingly. 
  • Be careful while attempting rhetorical questions. You must critically examine the given passage and then answer the questions.
  • In case, you come across a question where more than one option is correct, select the option which completes the given sentence in a precise manner.
  • Do not immediately jump to rhetorical questions without going through the passage. Always read the passage carefully and then move towards the questions.

SAT Reading Tips

The Reading section of the SAT consists of mixed passages of both long and short readings. Thus, you must begin by identifying the main idea or storyline upon which the passage focuses on. Take a look at the following SAT preparation tips for the reading section: 

  • Skim the passage thoroughly and do not skip directly to the questions.
  • Underline and note down the key phrases, words or sentences which provide the crux of the passage.
  • Don’t start reading a paragraph from the middle. Always read the entire paragraph from its start till the end.
  • Understand the meaning conveyed by the connotations and try determining the context of the passage which will help you get to the right answers.

SAT Mathematics Tips

The mathematics section is divided into 2 sub-sections i.e., with and without a calculator. You must strengthen the basic mathematical concepts and don’t just mug up formulas but practice them through sample papers. For the Mathematics section, you must consider the following SAT preparation tips:

  • During the beginning stage of your preparation, focus on your weak points and practice them thoroughly.
  • Make a list of all the formulae that you come across while preparing this section.
  • Always read the questions carefully and underline the part that needs to be solved. By adopting this practice, you will not get confused about what the question is asking for. 
  • Avoid skipping difficult questions by utilising the elimination method. 

SAT Essay Tips

Note: The SAT College Board has recently discontinued the SAT Essay. This section is just for you reference.

For the essay question, you will be given an argument in the form of a passage. The main motive behind this is to check how well you can analyse the main argument of the passage. During the 50 minutes you are given, you must spend at least 5-7 minutes scanning the passage thoroughly. Listed below are the SAT preparation tips which will assist you in drafting an impressive essay:

  • Prove the mentioned argument by using appropriate examples.
  • Do not write less than the given word limit.
  • Focus on writing simpler and well-structured sentences.  
  • Stay focused on one side of the argument. Do not dwell upon both sides as it can complicate your essay and confuse the examiner.
  • Proofread the essay during the last few minutes and correct any grammatical or spelling errors. 

What Poses a Common Challenge in the SAT for Indian Students? 

The initial hurdle students face during the SAT exam is that they aren’t able to get the maximum number of questions right in the first module of both sections. In other words, the initial modules of both sections are in itself a major challenge for SAT aspirants. Some of the common challenges faced by students are: 

  1. The test follows a non-linear structure as it is a multistage adaptive test. 
  2. The test is conducted in the English language, making it somewhat challenging to understand for students who are non-native English speakers. 
  3. The SAT is designed with American educational standards in mind, which can make some of the content unfamiliar to Indian students.

Top 10 Books For Improving Your SAT Scores

Here are the top 10 prep books that can help you achieve better SAT scores.  

Name of the BookName of the Author/PublisherPricePurchase Link SAT Math Orange Book Volume IJ.Earnest GottaINR 2,807Click here
Math Workout for the SATThe Princeton ReviewINR 784Click here 
SAT Premium Study Guide with 7 Practice Tests Sharon Weiner GreenINR 2,950Click here 
SAT Prep Black BookPatrick BarretINR 5,199Click Here
Princeton Review Digital SAT Premium PreThe Princeton Review INR 1,189Click Here
Digital SAT Prep Plus 2024Kaplan Test PrepINR 2,901Click Here
SAT Premium Prep, 2023The Princeton Review INR 2,740Click Here
Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice QuestionsVibrant PublishersINR 799Click Here
CollegeBoard – Official Digital SAT Study GuideThe College BoardINR 1,969Click Here 
Barron’s SAT Subject Test Biology E/M with CD-ROMDeborah.T GoldbergINR 530Click Here

So that was all about the SAT preparation. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic.

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SAT Registration: Important Dates, Eligibility Criteria and Step-Wise ProcedureSAT Exam in India 2023: Application ProcessSAT Preparation Tips & Tricks 2023


What SAT score is necessary to apply to Harvard?

Harvard does not have a set minimum SAT score, however, applicants should have at least 1460 to be taken into consideration.

Is there a standard response on the SAT?

The SAT does not have a common answer. Since all of the answer options—A, B, C, or D—are equally likely to be selected, it is not a good idea to predict an answer (for example, option B) for the majority of questions.

What is a good SAT score for Indian students?

An SAT score of 1200 or above can get you admission into some of the best universities abroad.

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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  1. Thank you! It is quite a challenge to prepare for the SAT (at the last minute). It is one of my first very important tests. I really hope to be successful.

  2. Hi, I’m from Nigeria. I would love to know if there is any online course or exam I can take for scholarship abroad

    1. Hi please get in touch with our study abroad experts at +91 86306 84298 they will surely assist you

  1. Thank you! It is quite a challenge to prepare for the SAT (at the last minute). It is one of my first very important tests. I really hope to be successful.

  2. Hi, I’m from Nigeria. I would love to know if there is any online course or exam I can take for scholarship abroad

    1. Hi please get in touch with our study abroad experts at +91 86306 84298 they will surely assist you