HISD juniors will be sharpening their No. 2 pencils to take the SAT college admission test during SAT School Day on their own campuses April 16, with the district picking up the registration cost. Students registered for the test with their high school counselors, who provided a voucher to waive the $51 fee.
If you are registered to take the test at your high school, here are some tips to prepare for test day:
- Learn the directions and question formats in advance: If you understand the instructions, you’ll feel more confident and be less likely to make careless errors. The test is timed, so if you don’t have to spend time on the directions, you will have more time for earning points.
- Take an educated guess by ruling out one or more answer choices for a multiple-choice question as definitely wrong; your chances of guessing correctly among the remaining choices improve. Omit questions only when you really have no idea how best to answer them. You don’t gain or lose points for omitting an answer. Keep in mind that most questions are arranged from easy to hard.
- Use the test book for scratch work to cross off answers you know are wrong, and to mark questions you did not answer: Be sure to mark your answers on the separate answer sheet. You won’t receive credit for any answers you marked in the test book. Avoid extra marks on the answer sheet. The answer sheet is machine-scored, and the machine can’t tell an answer from a doodle.
- Check your answer sheet regularly to make sure you are in the right place: Losing your place on the answer sheet will affect your test results. Check the number of the question and the number on the answer sheet every few questions. This is especially important when you skip a question.
- Pace yourself: Don’t spend so much time working through hard questions that you lose time to find and answer the easier ones. Work on less time-consuming questions before moving on to those that demand more time. Save time by marking questions as you work on them and crossing out choices you can eliminate as you move through the test. The SAT includes 10 sections for which you have a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete. First check to see how much time you have to complete each section. Then, while practicing for and taking the test, develop a habit of occasionally checking your progress through the test. That way you know when you are one-fourth of the way through the time allotted for a section, when you are halfway through, and when you have five minutes left. If you finish a section before time is called, use the remaining time to check your answers.
- Think Positively: Getting down on yourself during the test does more than make you feel bad. It can take away the confidence you need to solve problems. It can distract you. Keep up your confidence and focus on each question.
If you are scheduled to take the SAT on SAT School Day, but need resources for the last days of preparation, you can take advantage of these free resources:
- Free online SAT practice from Khan Academy, including hundreds of unreleased questions from real SATs and videos that show step-by-step solutions.
- Free access to The Official SAT Online Course. Additional free SAT practice tools are available on the College Board website.
- Students can use their SAT scores to research colleges and universities on the College Board’s free, comprehensive college planning website.
For more information about College Readiness or the SAT, visit www.houstonisd.org/collegereadiness.