How to Ace the SAT Practice Test?

September 14, 2022
By AdmissionSight

How Many SAT Practice Tests Are There?

How many SAT practice tests are there? There is an SAT practice test made available by the College Board. There are currently 8 redesigned practice exams. Read more about the SAT practice test as we continue.

The College Board announced in January 2021 that they would stop offering the SAT Essay after the test date in June 2021. The essay was originally a portion of the SAT that was optional, and many students already opted out.

However, there will no longer be a choice to take the SAT Essay. Only on SAT School Days is it possible to take the SAT Essay. Even in these situations, the decision to include the essay is up to your institution of choice.

Critical reading, mathematics, writing, and a variable or equating component make up the four sections of the SAT exam. The writing portion of the test is always ordered so that the essay portion comes first and the multiple-choice portion comes last.

The order of the other portions on the test can change. A 65-minute section plus a 20-minute section make up the reading portion of the SAT exam. This section’s test items are all multiple-choice inquiries that deal with either short or lengthy reading passages. Reading comprehension, sentence completion, sentence-level reading, and critical paragraph-length reading skills are all tested by these questions. The key to performing well on test day is to take lots of SAT practice exams.

A 25-minute segment plus a 55-minute section make up the SAT test’s mathematics section. This section has multiple-choice or student-produced response (grid-in) test questions. Number and operations, algebra and functions, geometry, statistics, probability, and data analysis are among the topics tested in this area. A 35-minute multiple-choice component and a 50-minute essay section are both included in the SAT writing test. The multiple-choice questions assess grammar, use, and word choice by identifying and correcting sentence faults as well as strengthening phrases and paragraphs. The formation of a viewpoint on a subject is the topic of the essay question.

The variable or equating element of the SAT test is an ungraded portion of the exam that is used to help create future SAT test problems and assess how challenging various test versions are. Test takers have 20 minutes to finish the variable component, which can be either a critical reading, math, or writing section.

How To Calculate the SAT Practice Test Score?

Your two section scores, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math, which are graded from 200 to 800, combine to create your final SAT score. When evaluating your success in a particular area, universities will occasionally consider your section scores in addition to your overall score (they are all listed on the same score report). An engineering school would prioritize a strong Math section score above a strong Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score, for instance.

Unidentified person writing in a paper.

You receive three essay scores on the SAT essay (which was eliminated in January 2021) that range from 2 to 8.

Total SAT score 400–1600
Evidence-Based Reading 200–800
Writing Section
Math Section 200–800

Now, how to calculate the SAT practice test score? The College Board uses a conversion chart specific to each test to translate your raw score for a section—the number of questions you correctly answered—into the “scaled score” for that part in order to determine your SAT score. To determine your final SAT score, they combine these scaled scores.

How to Prepare for the SAT?

Because each SAT exam is different, the College Board scales your raw score using a conversion table that is specific to each test. The scores are scaled to account for the test’s difficulty. Students may be able to omit one or two questions from an extremely challenging test and still receive an 800. On a simpler test, however, skipping one question could result in a score of 790 or 780.

In their Scoring Your Practice Test documentation, the College Board offers guidance on how to determine your section scores, along with a sample conversion chart.

Unidentified person writing in a paper.

Determine your Reading Test score and your Writing and Language Test score before calculating your SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section score (which is on a range of 200-800):

  1. Determine how many of your Section 1 answers were right (the Reading Test). False replies are not penalized in any way. Your raw score is the total number of correct responses.
  2. Turn to page 7 and find Raw Score Conversion Table 1: Section and Test Scores. Find your raw score in the “Raw Score” column, then compare it to the value in the “Reading Test Score” column.
  3. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for Section 2 in order to calculate your Writing and Language Test score.
  4. Add the results of the reading test to the results of the writing and language tests.
  5. Increase that amount by 10 times. This is your grade on the evidence-based reading and writing section.

To determine your SAT Math Section score (which ranges from 200 to 800):

  1. Count how many of the questions in Sections 3 (Math Test — No Calculator) and 4 (Math Test — Calculator) you answered correctly. False replies are not penalized in any way.
  2. Total the quantity of accurate responses you received on Sections 3 (Math Test — No Calculator) and 4 (Math Test — Calculator).
  3. To convert your raw score into your Math Section score, use the Raw Score Conversion Table 1: Section and Test Scores.

Add your evidence-based reading and writing score to your math section score once you have both. This result will be your overall SAT score.

Which SAT Practice Test Is the Hardest?

But, much like with the actual SAT, you might be curious “Which SAT practice test is the hardest?” This also raises a number of follow-up inquiries, such as what will happen if my SAT is more difficult than normal when it comes to the real thing. Will it diminish my chances of earning a high grade?

Don’t worry; by equating scores, the College Board ensures that every SAT exam, whether it is in May or October, is as equitable as feasible for all test takers. Discover what equating works and which College Board practice test is the most difficult by reading on.

The College Board uses a technique known as “equating” to account for variations in exam difficulty. This entails lowering the grade a student obtains for getting a certain quantity of wrong answers. It’s crucial to keep in mind that your score will always fall within a similar range for a specific amount of incorrect answers because test differences are not significant.

Student answering a text in a desk.

For instance, you would have been required to correctly answer every question on every section of the April 2021 SAT in order to receive a perfect score. However, for the May 2021 SAT, students might still achieve a perfect score even if they missed one reading question!

It’s critical to keep in mind that equating differs from curving. Curving is a procedure that changes a student’s performance in the past based on how other students performed on the same test. Equating standards (the conversion table of correct to incorrect answers to score) were created along with the test and are not affected by how well students perform on it. You will receive the same score regardless of how well or poorly other students do on the test.

Some SATs may require students to use equivalency scales with fewer incorrect answers in order to achieve their desired score, but with simpler questions. Other SATs may be scaled more liberally, but only because those tests have tougher questions that the test’s creators anticipate students to have trouble answering.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that the test is divided into English and Math components. Some tests have harsher English scales and more forgiving math scales. Similar to this, tests might have English and Math components that are slightly harder and easier, respectively. Whichever test a student finds most challenging will depend on the subject they have the most trouble with.

It’s also crucial to understand that your individual talents and weaknesses may play a major role in what makes the SAT practice test challenging for you. It is therefore most beneficial to concentrate on practicing as much as you can within your SAT preparation session in order to comprehend your test score prior to taking the actual SAT. Focus on correcting your errors, understanding SAT math concepts, and taking more practice math sections if you see that you’re constantly missing questions in the math section.

No matter how challenging a test is, there are a few things you can always manage. Never leave a question blank on the actual SAT when you are taking it. The same approach applies to your practice SAT examinations, but be sure to note which ones you made educated guesses on. If you make an educated guess but fail to make a note, you might skip a question that you need assistance with.

There appears to be a broad consensus among students that Test #3 is the most difficult of the official practice exams, according to online forums. But it’s crucial to keep in mind that a challenging practice exam can be an excellent tool! Because they are aware that the problems will be difficult even with plenty of time, students can complete the test without being timed. In order to help them with the trickiest problems, they can also practice the exam with a tutor or parent. Including a high SAT score in your college applications can only be beneficial.

Which Official SAT Practice Test Is the Best?

If you are getting ready to take the SAT for the first time, it is normal to feel stressed and anxious. Nothing could be more nerve-wracking than not knowing how the actual situation will play out. There are plenty of SAT practice exams, which is wonderful news. The bad news is that making the wrong decision about which to take could have disastrous consequences.

Students listening to a lecture in a room.

Which official SAT practice test is the best? The College Board, the company that created the SAT itself, offers the greatest SAT practice exams. Since they are most like the real thing, they help test takers learn how to pace themselves and identify their strengths and weaknesses. Khan Academy is another excellent and cost-free resource for the SAT practice tests.

Don’t think that SAT practice exams are only for test takers who have never taken the exam before. It’s a good idea to take SAT practice exams whether you’re getting ready to take the SAT for the second, seventh, or twentieth time.

You should begin preparing for the SAT around three months before the exam date, according to Khan Academy, a non-profit educational company founded in 2006 in collaboration with the College Board. According to the statement, you will have adequate time to study and become familiar with the exam’s material. However, if you don’t want to take a chance, you can start SAT preparation earlier than three months. This is especially true if you want to achieve a high starting score and be admitted to a selected institution.

Returning to the topic of becoming familiar with the SAT test material. The SAT test is a strategy-driven test. In other words, it’s not enough to know the answers to the questions; you also need to be able to respond to them. The SAT has 154 multiple-choice questions and lasts three hours. You only have about 70 seconds to respond to each question, according to the calculations.

How Do You Practice For the SAT?

How do you practice for the SAT? The SAT practice test is not only another piece of homework. This is an essential chance for you to determine how prepared you are to receive a grade that will make you proud. Your findings will guide your preparation plan decisions and help you make the most of your study sessions.

Female student holding her books while smiling at the camera.

Here are some pointers to help you ace your practice exam:

  • Use a notebook or pad of paper for math problems if you’re taking the test online.
  • Use the test booklet for all of your work if you’re taking the test on paper (additional paper won’t be provided on test day).
  • Use a No. 2 pencil.
    • Use a printed bubble sheet.
    • Utilize an authorized calculator.

Location & Setting

  • If at all feasible, study away from home in a library where there won’t be any interruptions.
  • Put your phone in your luggage with the screen off.
  • Put your phone in airplane mode if you must use it as a timer.
  • Khan Academy’s Official SAT Practice can also be used as a timer. Every part of every practice exam has a built-in timer, which you can use to keep track of time as you complete the test on paper.

Devices

You won’t be allowed to use any other electronic device on test day besides a calculator, not even during breaks, or your scores can be canceled. So refrain from doing it on a practice exam! You must experience what it’s like to be cut off for these four hours.

Start now!

  • Try your best to get started around 8:30 am when the SAT will start.
  • NOTE: Just so you know what to expect, you will probably spend the half-hour or so before the start of the test sitting quietly in a quiet room full of anxious students. Part of that time will be spent completing forms and paying attention to instructions. You’ll also be required to sign a declaration affirming your identity.
  • Let an adult administer your practice exam. If no adult is available, pick a friend who will take this responsibility as seriously as you do!

Important Pieces for Advice During the SAT Practice Test

  • Write the essay; you must experience what it is like to complete this task after three hours of testing.
  • Don’t give yourself a few more seconds to fill in the bubbles for questions you didn’t get to. On Test Day, scores can be canceled if you do that.
  • Give yourself exactly the amount of time stated for each section.
  • Take official breaks. Take a 10-minute pause after Section 1 of the Reading Test and a 5-minute rest after Section 1 of the Math Test (Section 3). After finishing the second Math Test, you may only have a 2-minute break if you are writing the essay assignment. (You read that right, it’s true!)
  • Consume healthy food and water when taking breaks.

Everyone’s baseline level of comfort with the SAT’s structure and material varies. The degree of the test’s difficulty ultimately hinges on your level of preparation. If test-taking anxiety is a problem for you, be sure to take lots of the SAT practice tests, carefully correct your errors, and discover techniques that can help you lower your stress levels. AdmissionSight also offers SAT/ACT tutoring if you would like to have personalized and in-depth instruction about preparing for the SAT.

On top of that, AdmissionSight can also guide you throughout your college preparation journey. Book an initial consultation with our experts to start.

 

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