The Practice of Taking a Practice Test
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.
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