No matter how strong a test-taker you are, time-saving strategies allow you to focus more on the content of the test and less on the time constraints. Saving a precious minute or two across the course of a section could allow you the time to answer two more questions, check your work, or revisit a particularly challenging question.
Lucky for you, there is a very easy way to save yourself a minute or two on each section of the test, and that is by memorizing the directions ahead of time. The directions on each section of the SAT are the same every time it’s administered. Not only that, but they’re also the same directions as those on the official SAT practice tests. You don’t need to memorize them verbatim, but knowing what each section of the test is asking you to do will maximize your efficiency on test day.
For example, you should know how to complete the grid-in questions on the math test. You should know how to find embedded questions in the text of the Writing and Language passages. You should know which formulas are available in the reference sheet for the math section. You should know what the instructions for the Reading test are asking you to do. These are all things you can learn ahead of time, and waiting until the test to re-read them and clarify your thinking will eat into time that most test-takers can’t afford to lose. Do yourself a favor and know the gist of every section before you enter the exam room.
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