The Practice of Taking a Practice Test
Our Molly Bloom example shows why studying practice
tests is such a powerful SAT prep tool. Now we explain, step by
step, exactly how to do it yourself.
Control Your Environment
You should do everything in your power to make
every practice test you take feel like the real SAT. The more your
practice resembles the real thing, the more helpful it is.
- Take a timed test. Don’t give
yourself any extra time. Be more strict with yourself than the meanest
proctor you can imagine. Don’t even give yourself time off for bathroom
breaks. If you have to go to the bathroom, let the clock keep running. That’s
what’ll happen on the real SAT.
- Take the test in a single sitting. Training
yourself to endure hours of test-taking is part of your preparation.
- Take the test without distractions. Don’t
take the practice test in a room with lots of people walking through
it. Go to a library, your bedroom, an empty classroom—anywhere quiet.
You’ll probably find these rules annoying and restrictive,
and you’ll be tempted to break them. Maybe you could take the practice
test in front of the TV? Or just with music playing? Sure, you could
do that. No one will ever know. But we promise you that your results
won’t be as accurate as they will be if you simulate the real SAT experience
as closely as possible.
Scoring Your Practice Test
After you take your practice test, score it and see how
you did. However, when you do your scoring, don’t just tally up
your raw score. As part of your scoring, you should
also keep a list of every question you got wrong and every question you
skipped. This list will be your guide when you study your test.