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Is Your Child A Crammer? Here's 8 Last Minute Tips to Help Them on the SAT

By Laura Whitmore

If you are reading this, you are probably taking the August SAT this weekend. Exciting, right? But also nerve-wracking. Whether you're taking the traditional paper test or venturing into the digital SAT, taking a test like the SAT is more than just recalling facts. It's really a numbers game. Think of yourself at a casino playing blackjack; you're really just playing the odds.

In this blog post, I'm going to give you 8 very practical tips to help you play the odds of the SAT so you can maximize your score without cramming in any last-minute studying. Ready? Let's dive in!

Tip Number One: Clock Management Watching the clock every minute can be counterproductive. You'll need to set limits. If you're taking the paper SAT, watch the clock only once every passage. If it's the digital SAT, hide the clock and check it once every 10 questions. This will help you keep pace without getting distracted.

Tip Number Two: Majority Rules (Guessing Strategy) Stuck on a question? Use the "majority rules" method. Look at all the answer choices, cross off the oddballs, and choose the answer that has the most in common with the others. It's like using the power of the crowd to guide your choice!

Tip Number Three: Read the Questions First Especially in the English or reading sections, read the questions first. This will frame your understanding and help you focus on what's really being asked as you read the passage.

Tip Number Four: Execute the English Modules Efficiently Specific to the digital SAT, you'll want to execute the English modules efficiently and save those time-consuming questions for last. Prioritization is key!

Tip Number Five: Nice Numbers (Math Strategy) For abstract math questions, the "nice numbers" strategy helps make things more concrete. Substitute with numbers that are easier to work with, and you'll find the problem becomes more manageable.

Tip Number Six: Middle Number Guessing Tip (Math) Another guessing tip for the math sections: if you're completely stumped, pick a middle number in the range. It’s all about playing those odds!

Tip Number Seven: The Christmas Treeing Strategy Running out of time? The "Christmas treeing" strategy might be your saving grace. String one answer choice all the way down the bubble sheet. I recommend using letter D, as College Board often designs sections with a slight uptick in that answer choice.

Tip Number Eight: Working Backwards (Math)

Have a hard time with word problems? Instead of reading the entire thing, getting lost in all the information, and then getting confused trying to set up the right equation, just start with the answer choices. A middle number (B or C) works best, as that way you can gauge if you need to go up or down and can get to the correct answer quickly. Try the answers in the problem and see which one works out!

There you have it! These eight tips are designed to help you navigate the August SAT like a pro, and turn test-taking into a game you can win. Good luck! Remember, it's not just about what you know, but how you approach the test. You've got this!


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