How to tackle the SAT

Tips and tricks to get you through the most important standardized test

Mark It Up

On the SAT, you are not allowed to use any highlighters. The only utensil you are allowed to use is a No.2 pencil. So when given passage or a long problem, underline, circle, and box important names, dates, or information that you think will be helpful.


This seems like a gimme, but always make sure you go through and cross off the questions that you know for sure are incorrect. This narrows your options down and gives you more time to think about why the other answers are either right or wrong.

No Other Choice

If you are stuck on a question and you are running out of time, you may have to turn to taking a lucky guess. According to Sylvan Learnings SAT course, the letter B is the most common letter used, so circle B!


During the reading passage, if they ask a question about a certain word or sentence in a paragraph, always read AT LEAST two sentences before and two sentences after. This will give you enough context to correctly choose your answer.

2-3 Minutes Tops

When the hired graders grade the essays, they are given a total of 2-3 minutes to read through your entire essay and decide what your score is. This being said, make your introduction and conclusion short. Most importantly, instead of putting your strongest point for your argument in the third paragraph, put it in the first paragraph. You want to make sure you put your strongest points first; They will focus more on the beginning of the essay. Pull them in early.

Mental Health

On the SAT, your mental health plays a big role. This is a re-takeable test: remember that. Don't over-stress yourself and get plenty of rest the night before. Eat a good meal, and go in with confidence. Going in stressed out and tired will only harm you. Do not cram the night before, just relax, junior year is almost over! Good luck!