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Prepping for the SAT verbal test is a lot easier when you know which mistakes to avoid. Fortunately, there are some very common mistakes that you can use to prepare for the test and improve your score.
The SAT Verbal test consists of two parts: critical reading and writing. Both sections have multiple choice questions, and the writing section includes the essay. By learning the mistakes that most students make with these tests, you can easily avoid them.
Here’s your reference list for the most common mistakes:
Failing to practice and prepare. Not creating a study plan, not taking a full-length practice test before test day and only doing SAT prep work the day before the test are all failures to prepare. You can use our online SAT prep software to make prep even easier before your big test day.
Misreading the instructions. This is super easy to do, especially when nervous. Each section of the test begins with detailed instructions. During the test you should slow down and read the directions twice for clarity. It’s a smart way to avoid simple mistakes.
Forgetting to answer easier questions first. You don’t have to answer the questions in the order in which they are presented to you. It’s a big mistake to do it that way. A much smarter strategy is to quickly skim through and answer the easier questions first, then come back to the harder ones. Also, do not forget to review the SAT scoring matrix: no points for skipping questions, 0 points for wrong answers - which means that you shouldn’t guess wildly at questions.
Second guessing answers after using the process of elimination. You can help focus your test taking with the process of elimination. After reading a question, eliminate the most improbable answers, quickly mark the right one and move on. The process of elimination helps you make more educated guesses - don’t second guess yourself!
Spending more than a minute on any one item in a set of questions. Don’t sweat over a single question in a set. Time is of the essence! Read, eliminate, chose and move on. Or skip it if you have no idea.
Confusing definitions of key vocabulary or a weak vocabulary, in general. Failure to build a strong vocabulary is a sure way to helpthe SAT catch you making errors in specifics like homophones. Study suggested vocabulary lists during preparation.
Indecision. Getting bogged down in reading the answer choices and taking too long to decideis a killer on the SAT verbal test. Overly wordy questions can grab your attention and cost you precious minutes. Keep clear and eliminate any obvious wrong answers or extraneous content quickly to avoid this kind of quicksand.
Reading too slowly. Losing focus and not absorbing the content in the Critical Reading passages and then trying to answer the questions spells doom. This can happen with answer choices or in the questions themselves too. Watch out!
Writing an off-topic essay. Your essay is the chance to let your brilliance shine! Just make sure you’re writing about the right topic. Read the essay prompt carefully and then plan your essay before you begin writing.
Errors in grammar and punctuation. This is a quick way to lower essay scores. Be sure to look over your essay before the time is up and correct any errors in grammar and punctuation
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