How to Improve Your Low SAT Mark Scores

The SAT is a widely used entrance exam for college admissions administered by the College Board in the United States. The purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student's readiness for college and provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. College admissions officers will review standardized test scores alongside your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays. How important SAT scores are in the college application process varies from school to school.

In addition to your college applications, your SAT scores can be used to apply to international and national scholarships. These are sometimes merit-based scholarships, granted directly from your choice of college during the application process. Others may be from local, state, or regional programs where your grades, academic achievements, and score affect your eligibility.

There are mainly two SAT sections:

  • Math
  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
  • Essay (Optional)

Each section of the SAT is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale. Your total SAT score is the sum of your section scores. The highest possible SAT score is 1600. If you take the Essay, you will receive a separate score.

Your SAT score is a key component of your college applications. But if you look through the college profiles and find that your scores are below average for the colleges you hope to attend, don't panic.

The maximum score on the SAT is 1600. Out of the 1.7 million students who take the test every year, only about 300 get the highest possible SAT score. That's less than 0.0002%. If you start to feel anxious, take a few deep breaths and remember that the SAT is testing you on things you already know. You can totally learn how to improve your SAT score and we're here to help you reach your goals.

Basic Strategies to Improve Low SAT Scores

1. Use High-Quality Study Materials and Resources

Unfortunately, doing well on the SAT is not just about how much you know about Math, Reading, and Writing. Your final score will depend largely on how much you know about taking the SAT. This is an exam that follows some very specific sets of patterns. If you don't know the tricks, you are going to have some trouble.
We recommend Magoosh's SAT Prep for you that will help you to improve your low SAT scores. If you choose to go with a different study resource, just be sure that whatever materials you using are extremely high quality.

2. Retake the Examination

Depending on when your application deadlines are, you might be able to take the SAT again. If you took the exam in the spring, you can work through a SAT practice book and retake the exam in the fall. Realize that simply retaking the exam without additional preparation isn't likely to improve your score much. Make sure that the scores will come out in time for you to apply to colleges. There's no point in retaking the test if you won't get the new scores until applications close.

3. Understand Your Mistakes

If you are trying to improve low SAT scores, it's really important that you know where you are going wrong and what might be holding you back. As a low scorer, you are more likely to have problems with the content on the test in terms of math concepts and grammar rules, but you might also be making mistakes as a result of careless errors or misunderstandings. Most errors fall into one of these four categories:

  • Careless mistakes
  • Time issue
  • Misunderstanding the question
  • Lack of content knowledge

4. Optimize Your Studying Techniques

Don't just buy a SAT book and read it cover to cover. That will be a drag and also a waste of your time. Here's how to study smart:

  • Take a practice test. As you go through it, mark every question that you don't feel super sure about.
  • After the test, grade yourself. Then go back and review every you marked.
  • As you review, write down the general idea of each question, why you missed it, and how you could have gotten it correct.

5. Stick to Your Study Schedule

It's basically impossible to effectively study for the SAT without a schedule. There are a lot of areas to cover. Luckily, there are a lot of free SAT study schedules available to keep you on track. Just pick the schedule that best fits how much time you have before the exam, and follows it.

6. Find Schools Where Your Bad Scores are Good

The hype surrounding college admissions might have believed that you need 2300 on the SAT to get into a good college. The reality is quite different. The United States has hundreds of excellent colleges where an average score of about 1500 is perfectly acceptable. Many good colleges are happy to admit students with below-average scores. Here is A to Z College profiles to identify colleges where your test scores may fit.

7. Take the ACT

If you are still having trouble with SAT practice tests, even after studying, your particular thought patterns might not be suited for the SAT format. But you might do better in the ACT. The exam is quite different from the SAT. SAT is an aptitude test meant to measure your reasoning and verbal abilities, while the ACT is an achievement test designed to measure what you have learned in school. Nearly all colleges will accept either exam, even if you live in a geographic region where one exam is more widely used.

8. Defeat Your Mental Stress and Consider a Tutor if Needed

To overcome fear and stress, work on developing a more positive attitude towards the SAT. It sounds corny, but learn to treat every mistake as a learning opportunity. After all, every time you make a mistake it gives you a tiny clue on how you can improve. And If you have the time and money to dedicate to tutoring, especially if it will make differences when it comes to getting a scholarship, or even getting into college, definitely think about it.

The high SAT scores help students to navigate their path through high school toward college and career and offer a range of unique benefits to students.

If you want to know more about this, you can check on Best SAT 2020-2023 Books.

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