10 tips for international student SAT preparation

Our friends at ArborBridge are experts at SAT preparation. Here are 10 top tips for international students who want to study in the USA

1. Register earlyRegister for your exam early to guarantee your first choice for location. This also promises that the SAT is offered in your desired city on the specific test date.

2. Be preparedRemember to bring: your admission ticket, an ID, a scientific calculator, a watch, #2 pencils, and a snack (Nuts, cheese, even candy will help keep your mind fresh and sharp).

3. Be strategicSharpened pencils? Think again: you can fill in the bubble on your answer sheet much faster with with a slightly dull pencil tip.

4. PracticeTake as many timed, full-length practice SATs as possible. 

5. Be specificThe SAT contains many American and English idioms. Studying commonly used phrases will aid in the Critical Reading and Writing sections. 

6. Check your subect-specific vocabularyIs your Math score low even though you know math really well? Study math vocabulary. You may know certain concepts tested on the SAT in your native language but may not know the English words for the correlating topics on the test. 

7. Argue a pointAnswer the essay question directly beginning with "yes" or "no," and explain your answer with three compelling reasons from literature, history and your own personal experience.  (The majority of students fail to answer the essay question directly and to take a clear and defined position on the issue, losing essential and easy points.) 

8. Don't get tripped up"Watch out for animals! If you see a sentence improvement question that contains animals, it is likely testing your knowledge of noun-verb agreement. For example, given the question: 

Endangered for decades by hunting and the use of pesticides, the bald eagle, with its snowy feathered head and white tail, are now making a comeback. 

The incorrect underlined section is "are now" because "are" refers to "the bald eagle" which is a singular subject and therefore "are" should be "is" because "are" would be for plural subjects and  "is" is the singular subjects.

9. Use process of eliminationRemember that the answer is right in front of you. Use process of elimination, plugging in numbers, and marking up the test booklet to narrow down answer choices. If you can eliminate one answer then at least guess! 

10. Cram!It’s never too late to study. Most students see the best score increase when they prep for 30 hours, but even 12 or 5 will help boost your score. Every little bit counts toward familiarity, mastery, and success.

Tips compiled by Sallie Oto, Director of Test Prep at ArborBridge

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