SAT tips and tricks

Top SAT Prep Tips and Tricks to Ace the Exam!

The SAT monster is poised to attack! With four sections of sharp teeth, your only defense is a number two pencil, and that might not seem like enough. The commonly-used Standardized Aptitude Test definitely looks daunting. And with scholarship money and even college admission on the line, that number two pencil starts to look like less and less of a useful weapon. However, by applying some SAT tips and tricks, you can easily ace the test.

Here’s the deal. Each section has its own patterns and rules and clues, and this blog post will teach you the best SAT tips and tricks for how to start looking for them.

General Tips

Tip 1: Read the directions carefully

Skipping the directions of the test may result in grave mistakes if you don’t have any idea about the different SAT sections. Read it carefully if you failed to research them beforehand.

Tip 2: Learn how to eliminate 3 wrong answers

Elimination is one of the most common SAT tips there is. If you are unsure which is the answer to a particular question, eliminate the choices that seem very far from being the correct answer.

Tip 3: Skip the questions you are not sure about the answer

If you find a question difficult because you cannot recall the answer or you really haven’t reviewed its content, skip it first, and focus on the questions that seem easy to you. Just return to the ones you skipped after you finished all the easy questions.

Tip 4: Make use of the Test Booklet

You cannot write on your answer sheet but you are allowed to use the Test Booklet for your scratch work. This is particularly helpful in doing Tip 2.

Tip 5: Be neat and avoid unnecessary marks on your answer sheet

Another one of the important SAT tips and tricks is avoiding unnecessary marks. Since a machine will check your answer sheet, avoiding any stray mark ensures that the machine can read it accurately.

Tip 6: Trust your instinct

Unless you are sure that you have committed an error, your first answer is usually correct. That is your brain showing you the things that it can recall.

Tip 7: Don’t leave an item unanswered

Even if you really do not know the answer to several questions, try to guess and do not skip the item unanswered. You’ll never know. Maybe, your guess will be correct.

Tip 8: Research about the test format

You can save up time and you won’t find it that difficult to answer the test once you know the test format. You can do this by downloading practice tests available online.

Tip 9: Bring your watch and budget your time

To make sure that you will finish on time, bring your watch and sync it to the time of the proctor. This way, you will be able to budget your time.

SAT Reading Section Tips

Tip 10: Selective Attention

One of the best SAT tips is to skim through the passage you’re reading. Let your eyes glaze over it and then read the questions (carefully). For most items, you’ll be asked about specific lines in the passage, and it will tell you exactly which lines they’re asking about. Go back and just read those lines in order to answer the question.

Tip 11: Read the italicized passage introductions

No matter how much time-pressured you are, do not ignore passage introductions that are usually italicized. This is to make sure that you don’t miss any easy points.

Tip 12: Complete the sentence in your mind

For sentence completion, it would be better if you will first complete it in your mind before looking at the choices. This will help you avoid confusion if all the answers seem correct.

Tip 13. Use context clues

If you come across words that are unfamiliar to you, use context clues in the sentence to figure out its meaning. This is one of the many SAT tips and tricks that can be used to make sure you earn more points.

SAT Math Section Tips

Tip 14: Memorize formulas

The key solving most math problems is knowing the correct formula in doing so. Before the test, make sure you are knowledgeable on most formulas that you may use.

Tip 15: Work on your content weakness

Even if you are not a math genius, you will be able to answer math questions as long as you study and practice. Fill those math knowledge gaps before the test for better results.

Tip 16: In the Student-Produced Response Math section, avoid negative answers

If your answer to the student-produced math questions is negative, you’re most likely wrong. There is always no negative answers in that section so better recompute.

Tip 17: Don’t dwell too much on the easy questions

The first few questions of the math section are the easiest. Do not focus on them. Instead, brace yourself for the harder questions.

SAT Writing Section Tips

Tip 18: Learn about the different grammar rules

To ace the SAT writing section, you should have knowledge of the different grammar rules of the English language. Lucky for you, we have prepared a list of those grammar rules in a separate blog.

Tip 19: Study how to use punctuation marks correctly

Most test-takers do not focus on studying punctuation marks because they thought it is quite easy. Unfortunately, punctuations can be tricky and if you will not review their different usage, you might lose several points in the writing section.

SAT Essay Tips

Getting a perfect score on the optional SAT essay test is quite challenging. Your task is to read a 650-750 word passage and write a critical essay about it. To guide you on writing, Student-tutor dedicated a whole blog to help you out. Click here to read some tips to improve your SAT essay.


You’ve already learned all the material that you need to know. That’s what sitting through high school has done for you.

Now it’s just about mastering strategy, which is what SAT classes are really all about. And if you can learn to answer these questions, you’ll have an incredible SAT score and a much better shot at the college of your choice—and even some scholarship money.

Keep holding onto that pencil. You’ll do great.

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!
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Shannon Thompson
Shannon Thompson
5 years ago

Excellent!! Your SAT score is a key component of your college applications, know about new SAT Test Prep Tips and Tricks and Prepare for SAT or improve your score.

Ridley Fitzgerald
Ridley Fitzgerald
6 years ago

It’s great to learn this about the SAT. I never took it as a child, but my son is getting ready to take his. He’s never been a great test taker, so he’ll need this. He’ll love the fact that he won’t have to finish the hard math questions!

7 years ago

JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!! This site ROCKS!!

8 years ago

some classical essays just put me off. any way i can pass through that will an 800 in critical reading?

Renae Hintze
Renae Hintze
8 years ago
Reply to  edna

Edna, First off, if you’re asking to skip the essay entirely, I strongly suggest that you don’t! As long as you write something toward the prompt, you’ll earn more points than leaving it blank. However, let’s say you got the lowest score on your essay (a 2). You still have points to gain from the 49 multiple choice questions included in your writing section. Let’s say you leave 11 blank, and get 10 incorrect on the multiple choice with a low essay score of 2 and it comes out to a 420 total with a curve. (See Add that… Read more »

8 years ago

How do we take the full length class?

Renae Hintze
Renae Hintze
8 years ago
Reply to  Gracie

Hi Gracie!

If you’re asking about Student-Tutor’s SAT class, we offer it both online and in-person (We come to you.) Click here! 🙂