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Test-Taking Approaches

Important SAT information to share with students before test day

Help your students succeed on the SAT with these important tips:

  • Answer easy questions first. The easier questions are usually at the start of the section, and the harder ones are at the end. The exception is in the critical reading section, where questions are ordered according to the logic and organization of each passage.
  • Make educated guesses. If you can rule out one or more answer choices for multiple-choice questions, you have a better chance of guessing the right answer.
  • Skip questions that you really can't answer. No points are deducted if an answer is left blank.
  • Limit your time on any one question. All questions are worth the same number of points. If you need a lot of time to answer a question, go on to the next one. Later, you may have time to return to the question you skipped.
  • Keep track of time. Don't spend too much time on any group of questions within a section.
  • Use your test booklet as scratch paper.
  • Mark the questions in your booklet that you skipped and want to return to.
  • Check your answer sheet to make sure you are answering the right question.
  • Make sure you use a No. 2 pencil. It is very important that you fill in the entire circle on the answer sheet darkly and completely. If you change your response, erase it as completely as possible.

Customized Entry Pages

Related Materials

Go to the SAT Downloads and Materials Ordering page to view and print these and other related materials:

  • Getting Ready for the SAT
  • SAT Program Mathematics Review
  • SAT Skills Insight for Educators
  • SAT Practice Tools Brochure
  • SAT Resources for International Educators Brochure

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