Exams Know-how

Taking SAT Practice Tests Can Help You Gain About 115 Points

Sumeet Jain

Administered by the College Board, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is considered an important assessment step for students applying to undergraduate courses mainly across colleges and universities in the US. 

It tests a candidate’s skills such as reading, writing and language and math in 180 minutes with 154 questions. While most questions are multiple choice, some of the math questions require a test-taker to write the complete answer instead of selecting it from a set of options. 

With the next SAT to be conducted on May 7, students must understand the importance of practice tests that can make a huge difference to their performance on test day. 

At A Glance

  • The next SAT will be conducted on May 7, 2022 and scores will be available on May 20, 2022.
  • The registration deadline for the June SAT is May 5, 2022.
  • According to official data, in the five years pre-COVID, more than 10 million students opted for the free SAT practice. 
  • Studies also reveal that those who prepare from the official SAT practice for 20 hours gained an average of 115 points.

Why Take Practice Tests

A majority of students appearing for the SAT revise the study material multiple times. But the importance of practice tests cannot be reiterated enough. While they help you identify your strong and weak spots, it is also necessary to understand the difference between your school or Board exams and the SAT. They test you on aspects such as logical reasoning and critical thinking and you must chalk out a plan for the actual test day based on your performance in these practice tests. 

Experts say that since the exam is to be attempted in a time-bound manner as it covers a range of subjects, SAT preparation has to be thorough. For those who want to understand more about the time constraints, the test structure and the content, practice tests are a must. Practice tests should be treated like real ones. 

Taking these mock tests can also enable you to ascertain and fix the time you need to devote to every question and section. The strategy of keeping the most tough questions for last can work wonders for most students as it saves crucial time. You can always re-attempt the tough questions later by revisiting them. 

Suggested Read: SAT to go online in 2023

What The Data Suggests

According to official data, in the five years pre-COVID, more than 10 million students opted for the free SAT practice. The College Board, which conducts SAT practice tests, partnered with Khan Academy to devise a personalized online program for students who wish to practice for the SAT. This included mock questions, quick response and feedback, video tutorials and full-length practice tests.

A survey in 2019 of over 65,000 SAT test takers revealed that about four times as many students practised with Official SAT Practice than commercial test prep.

Studies from a few years ago reveal that those who prepare from the official SAT practice for 20 hours gained an average of 115 points. From 250,000 test takers studied, over 16,000 bagged 200 points or more between the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT.

It has also been found by the testing agency that shorter practice time-frames have a link to meaningful score gains. This means that about six to eight hours of practice on the Official SAT Practice can lead to an average 90-point rise in the score.

Khan Academy founder and CEO Sal Khan had earlier highlighted this “positive association between personalized practice and growth in college readiness.” However, every student will have to build a personalized approach and focus as the SAT practice tests do not work on a study plan that is applicable to all candidates alike. 

The College Board provides specific suggestions to an applicant on the skills he/she needs to brush up the most. Students can also access several questions, reviewed and approved by the experts who develop the SAT.

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