How To Go From 600 to 800 in Any Section of the SAT

If you’re scoring 600 or above on the SAT, congratulations. You’ve already proven yourself to be a rather intelligent student and a good test taker. Still, you’re probably wondering how you can improve your SAT score. A score of 600 is a great benchmark, but a score of 750 or 800 in SAT Math, or Critical Reading, or Writing can open doors that a score of 600 cannot. So here’s how you do it.

1. Take Stock. What are you doing well? What kind of questions are you answering correctly, and what does that say about your skill set? Conversely, what kind of questions are you getting wrong? For some students, this part can be easy. Maybe you’re weak on geometry questions, or subject-verb agreement. However, for a lot of students in the 600+ range on any given SAT subject, the question is more complicated.

Did you rush? Did you misunderstand the question? Did you get tricked by the wording of the answer choice? These are a few of the many questions you might ask yourself when trying to categorize your mistakes. Above all, look to find patterns in your test taking. The first step to improving your SAT score is identifying areas of content that you’re missing and/or the problems in your test taking strategies.

2. Hone In. Once you’ve identified the problem, hone in on the issue at hand. If it’s a content mistake, that’s easy. For example, go back and review the rules for multiplying exponents, or calculating an average speed. If it’s a SAT specific mistake, you’ll have to dig deeper. Look closely at the language the test makers used. How did they design the question and answer choices? Can you see not only why your original answer is wrong, but why the test makers included that answer? What made your answer choice appealing? Can you identify other questions/answer choices that use a similar strategy?

3. Practice Slow, Practice What You Don’t Know. Once you’ve identified the problem, don’t just go back to full practice SATs, or even full SAT sections. Seek out specific problems that are similar to the ones you’ve answered incorrectly in the past. Do them slowly, and intentionally. Think about the strategies of the test makers.

For most students scoring above 600 in a given section of the SAT, the details are the key to an improved score. Look closely, be scrupulous, and you’ll be rewarded.

If your score is less than 600 in any section of the SAT, there is good news. The lower your score, the easier it is to improve that score. So, if you’re scoring lower than 600 in SAT Math, or Critical Reading, or even Writing, check out our next post!