SAT Test Strategies

Useful Strategies for the SAT Test

SAT examines a student’s readiness for college and hence it acts as an important tool for college admissions in the U.S. With competitions inclining upwards, it is pivotal that the candidates follow certain  test strategies to get high scores. In this article, we shall discuss the various strategies which the students can make use of.

Different Sections in SAT

SAT test consists of the following sections:

  • Critical reading
  • Writing
  • Mathematics

SAT Test Taking Tips

The official website of College Board ( ) offers a number of useful test strategies, which are described as below:

Critical Reading

Critical Reading contains reading passages and sentence completion questions. Some of the strategies pertaining to the critical reading are:

  • Finish off the sentence completion questions and then move on to passage reading, since passage reading might be a bit time consuming.
  • It is important to know that the sentence completion questions have an increasingly ordered difficulty i.e. each sentence completion question is more difficult than the preceding one, whereas the reading questions are just based on the passage given and they have no order of difficulty.
  • Read the passages thoroughly and comprehend their implications before attempting to answer the questions.
  • Another valuable tip is that, reading questions with words quoted directly from the passage have the appropriate line numbers of the passage for quick reference.
  • The passages are mostly on topics related to natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and literary fiction etc. Hence students can acquaint themselves with knowledge on these areas during their preparation.


    This section has essay-writing, sentence completion and sentence/paragraph improvement. Test strategies for the writing segment are given below:


    • Read the essay question carefully. It tells you what your essay should primarily be about.
    • Think over the topic for a few moments and build your thoughts. Present your points in a neat and structured manner. It is better to construct the essay in a 5 paragraph format that includes introduction, 3 paragraphs on the topic concerned and then the conclusion.
    • The essay must be orderly and understandable.

    Sentence Completion and Sentence/Paragraph Improvement:

    • Read the questions carefully and think well before answering them.
    • If a guess could not be made for a multiple-choice question, it is better to leave the question unanswered and move on to the next one.


This SAT section has multiple choice and grid-in types of questions focused on arithmetic calculations, algebra, geometry, and probability. Few strategies concerning the math segment are:

  • Read the problem carefully, identify what is given and what is asked. Make a note of them in the scratch workbook given. Now begin with the solution. Noting down in the scratch book also helps to cross-check your calculations.
  • Important formulae will be given in the math section of the test book. Hence, students need not worry about memorizing complex formulae. All that is required is to just know what formula to apply where. However, it is always better if the students are not relying on the formulae given in the test book. They can go ahead with solving the problems without having to spend time referring the formulae.
  • For some questions, it is easy to eliminate the wrong answers from a list of choices rather than making big calculations to find the correct answer. These test strategies are provided by College Board with the intention of guiding students on the test taking methodology. Hence the SAT aspirants should equip themselves with these tips and tricks for tackling the exam. It will be highly beneficial if they start applying them right from the first day of test preparation and practice.