How to Improve Your SAT Score by 200+ Points

1. Have a clear goal in mind

It may sound obvious but having a clear idea of your target score is crucial! Choose something that is realistic, but challenging – it’s always better to aim higher, than lower. Factor in how much time you have to attain that goal, and budget your time wisely. If you struggle with motivation, write your dream score on a post-it-note, and stick it on your wall/desk/mirror/fridge – do whatever it takes!

2. Take a diagnostic test

DO THIS UNDER TIMED CONDITIONS! Record your results and write down what mistakes you made. If your math is substantially better than your reading/writing, then focus on your reading/writing, as this will make a greater difference in your overall score. This is a matter of strategy – your time is precious, so prioritize things accordingly.

If you’re struggling with time management:

  • Avoid taking full tests until you have mastered the content/concepts (this is especially true for the math section)
  • Practice sections of the exam individually until you are comfortable with the timing.
  • Ask yourself: is my first instinct usually correct? Try to identify why you overthink/what type of question you overthink – it may be best to mark these questions and move on.

If you’re struggling with content:

  • Try to identify a theme/pattern – what types of questions do you get incorrect?
  • Target these weaknesses, accordingly, starting with the most incorrect to least incorrect.

3. Be familiar with the exam format

This is often overlooked. The SAT is a predictable exam. Use this to your advantage! Some skills get tested more than others, so your study should reflect this + your specific weaknesses.

For example, the reading section ALWAYS only has ONE literature passage, just like most of the math section is based on algebraic skills:

Source: SAT Study Guide 2020 (

Looking at this, hypothetically, if you neglected ‘Additional Topics in Math’ entirely, you would still get 52/58, which is equivalent to a 720-750, depending on the curve.

Therefore, know yourself and know the exam! If you don’t have much time to study, you may be able to take a few shortcuts. However, if your test is in several months, it’s still a good idea to aim for perfection.

4. Practice makes perfect!

The old saying is true – if you want to make a dramatic difference in your results, you must put in the effort. Reward yourself as you go along, and only use HIGH-QUALITY resources. The amount of time you study will depend on your desired score improvement, and how effectively you study. There is no magic number, but some study is better than none at all.

Good luck!

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