SAT Tips from RMHS Seniors

Emma Kehoe ('21) and Morgan Fichera ('21)

The SAT will be taken by many juniors of Reading Memorial High School throughout this spring and summer. We asked some seniors at RMHS for their best tips, tricks, and advice for taking the SATs which many juniors and other test takers could find helpful and hopefully relieve a bit of stress.

Tip 1:  Manage Your Time During Test

One thing that students agree overwhelmingly on is that the time limits on the different sections of the SAT cause lots of stress for students because they often don’t have enough time to answer and analyze each question enough. The seniors we spoke to each agreed that budgeting time in each section of the test is crucial to success. 

The English section is perhaps among the most time-consuming sections due to the fact that it contains such long and dense passages. For the English section and its long passages, senior Catie Mullin suggests that students make sure they read the short introduction paragraph which often gives away the entire topic or main idea of the passage. Mullin also suggests to not read into every single little detail, but to instead save time by skimming each paragraph and making sure to read the first and last sentence of each paragraph and the entire conclusion, which saves time and allows for the main idea, argument, or theme to be identified.

Time management on the math section is much less straightforward because everyone has many different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to completing the calculator as well as the non-calculator portion of the test. Certain math questions may be simple for some students or extremely challenging for others. Because of this, Mullin suggests that students should try to complete all of the questions which they know how to do, and eventually come back to the rest of the problems which had previously been skipped. This strategy, as Mullin explained, allows for students to successfully answer as many questions as possible instead of wasting time being stuck on one answer which prevents people from moving on to problems they could potentially know how to do.

Tip 2:  Use Reading Strategies

In addition to time management in the english section of the SAT, it is also important that students have effective strategies to help comprehend and know what to look for while reading a passage. Both Mullin and fellow senior Emma O’Regan advise that even before reading the passage, it would be effective to go through and skim over some of the questions in order to understand what you need to be comprehending and looking for in the passage while you read. 

Tip 3:  Be Rested

The last, and perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice which senior Lindsey Joyce emphasized was to make sure and get a good night’s rest the night before taking the SAT. As Lindsey pointed out, the SAT will consume and require multiple hours of hard work and focus which cannot be supplied without proper rest the night before.