If you’re taking the SAT soon, it’s essential you know how to avoid careless errors that can tank your score.
Here are the five most common mistakes you can make while taking the SAT, as well as how you can take steps to prevent these mistakes from happening on the real exam.
I. Foggy Brain Mistake
We’re human; sometimes our brains stop working for a few minutes. Sometimes it is due to a drop in adrenaline, or other times it can be low blood sugar. Or maybe you’re just exhausted.
Foggy brain is when you look at the question, read the sentence, but your brain just stopped working. You can’t comprehend the information you are reading, and you can’t focus on the question.
If this happens to you, instead of staring blankly at the question, put a giant mark next to the question and return to it at the end if you have extra time. You probably know the answer, but your brain has had a momentary lapse. Make sure you return to the question when your brain is working again.
II. The Giving Up Mentality
This happens often at the end of the exam when you’re burned out. This mistake is when you are faced with a hard question but instead of fighting to figure out the answer, you put a random guess and hope it’s correct.
Be aware of when the fatigue is setting in. Stay strong, make a mark next to the question, and keep pushing through to finish the section. If you have time in the end, take some time to answer the question. Remember, you don’t want to fight for too long, but give yourself a solid minute to try to answer it.
III. Bubble Sheet Error
This is a common error that happens when you fill your bubble sheet incorrectly.
If this happens to you, you can raise your hand and inform your proctor of the situation. They may allow you to transfer your answers onto another sheet of paper.
To prevent this mistake from occurring, check your bubble sheet periodically, maybe after every page or every passage. Fill out the answers first in your test booklet, and after every passage or page, transfer the answers onto your bubble sheet.
IV. Word Problem Mishaps
If you are prone to misread or misunderstand the information in a word problem, there are two techniques to avoid this on exam day.
The first technique is to underline words as you go. This allows you to retain the information. The second technique is to draw it out. If there is a picture being described, draw it. If it’s a concept, draw it. That way, it is easier to go back to the information and to absorb it without having to read the word problem again.
Another word problem mistake you can make is you answer the wrong question. Sometimes, you can do all this math and get a number and the number is listed as one of the answer choices. But make sure you have actually solved the word problem. Don’t jump the gun; know exactly what you are searching for and make sure your answer is that.
V. Grammar from Partial Sentences
To deal with grammar questions, the only way you will get an accurate answer is if you read the entire sentence, not just part of it. If you only read a small segment of the sentence, you won’t fully understand the grammar rules the sentence calls for.
These five mistakes are simple, careless mistakes you can make the day of. If you keep these mistakes in mind and work hard to actively avoid making them, then you should have no problem scoring high on your SAT.