The SAT stirs up an aura of apprehension matched by no other standardized test of its kind. Being a Canadian student, I’m not compelled to go through this dreaded ordeal. However, I felt it would be an intriguing self-learning project, so I set out to see if I could ace the SAT… with three weeks of preparation.
Let me get this straight; I had almost no experience with the SAT before the month of September. I took the test on October 1st, beginning my preparation roughly twenty days prior. Although I purchased the Official SAT Study Guide in June, I never got down to studying until around September 10th.
I wasn’t initially planning to document my project online, so I don’t have any fancy stats or progress logs to share. However, after checking out Scott Young’s MIT Challenge, I thought it might be interesting to post about my efforts. Many high school students like me spend months and even years studying for the SAT, and I think what I’ve done can help dispel the myths and provide some useful tips for those yet to take the exam.
Of course, three weeks for one test pales in comparison the aspirations of Mr. Young, who has set out to complete the equivalent of an MIT degree in computer science in one year, without taking a single class. But if you’re interested in this kind of thing, I think you’ll be able to benefit from some of the methods I used to tackle this test.
If you aren’t familiar with the Scholastic Aptitude Test, it’s a gruelling, four-hour marathon of critical reading, math, and writing, required by most American universities. The writing section includes the dreaded essay, where you’re given two pages and 25 minutes to write an full essay on a general prompt. Over the course of the next couple weeks, I’ll be detailing the methods I used to prepare for each these three sections, with a particular emphasis on the essay. In addition, I’ll post up my score when I receive it.
If you’ve got any particular questions about the SAT or standardized test-taking in general, please comment and I’ll try to cover them in my posts.
This is part 1 of my article series, How to Ace the SAT in Three Weeks. Click below to read the rest of the series.
Part 1: Introduction
Part 4: Math
Part 5: Writing, Multiple Choice
Part 6: Writing, Essay
Photo by albertogp123