Action Plan for When Your SAT Score Plateaus
You’ve been studying for weeks and you saw some improvement in your SAT score. Then you scored your most recent practice test, and, ugh, your score stayed the same. While that can feel really disappointing, there is good news: there are a few tricks to help you keep increasing your score. Let’s jump into some of those strategies here so you can be on your way to a higher SAT score ASAP!
Keep Working on your timing
A key part of your SAT study plan needs to include lots of practice working on your speed when approaching SAT questions. Follow your One Month SAT Study Plan to make sure you are following a set plan that includes everything you need to study to do well on the SAT.
Working on your speed is critical to improving your SAT score. When you first start studying and you’re trying new strategies, it’s very common to see your score stay the same or even dip a little because you are a little slower at solving problems when using a new approach. Keep working on these new strategies while timing yourself and you’ll see your score increase on your next practice SAT.
There’s a lot to keep track of and remember to study for in such a short period of time, so don’t try to go it alone! Use the SAT study plan to ensure you review everything you need to for the SAT and in the right order to help you improve your score as much as you can. Let’s take a look at our next tip.
Do not neglect your strengths
One reason your SAT score may be plateauing is because you haven’t spent any time focusing on your strengths. These are the areas that you started out doing well on, such as fractions or sentence structure, which you promptly ignored in order to focus on your weaker areas where you struggled to do well. That’s a really common mistake students make when they start studying for the SAT, because you naturally want to get better at those weak areas and get more points!
However, the problem is that you forget to keep working on your strengths and they start to get a little rusty. Luckily, that’s an easy fix—starting today, incorporate practice of your stronger subjects and you’ll see your SAT score jump up on your next practice test!
Make sure you’re reviewing all of the key SAT topics as you study. You just need to get as many points as possible—the topic doesn’t matter. Use an SAT ebook, such as the Complete SAT Study Guide,
to make sure you’re familiar with all the SAT topics tested, and you’ll start to see your score start going up again!
Stay calm and SAT on
This last tip is crucial. You’re going to have ups and downs when you’re studying for the SAT. Some days, you’ll be feeling great and you’ll get more questions right than you ever have. And then some days, it will seem like you can’t get any questions right. On those days, you need to keep you head up and know that tomorrow will be a new day.
The most important thing is to not get discouraged and give up studying all together. You have to keep trying to see improvement. And remember, the only day that really counts is the day of the real SAT. So, keep practicing as much you can so can rock the actual SAT.
One great way to keep your chin up is to stay focused on the real end goal, getting into the college of your dreams. If you haven’t already, find out what the average SAT score is for students that are accepted to your dream school. Then, keep that number front and center when you’re studying. Again, don’t worry if you don’t hit that number every time—it’s just a motivating force to keep you focused and ready to try again when you miss a question.
If you’re not sure what SAT score you need because you’re not sure which school you’d like to go to, that’s okay. You just need to get a sense of what some schools are looking for in their applicants. I’d recommend reviewing average SAT scores at NYU or Georgia Tech to give you an idea of what some top colleges seek. Start by checking out NYU Scores: What You Need to Get In
and Georgia Tech SAT Scores,
and then start dreaming of the school that would be the best fit for you!
If and when your SAT score plateaus, it can be really disappointing. However, there are many things you can do to keep your score going up! By working on your speed, practicing your weaknesses and strengths, and staying calm, you can keep increasing your SAT score. So, what are you waiting for? Start employing these tricks today and get your target SAT score by test day!
By Allyson Evans earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her JD from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been teaching and tutoring the LSAT since 2007, and loves helping students achieve their goals. She currently practices law in Austin, Texas. When she’s not helping students conquer the LSAT, she enjoys traveling and camping.