SAT Myths and Truths

Myth: The first thing you should when the proctor says, “you may now begin,” is to read the directions. This will help freshen your memory.
Don’t waste your time. You’ve read the instructions on the practice tests.
Myth: Answer the hard questions first while you still have time. Don’t tire yourself out on easy questions.
Easy questions are worth the same as hard questions but take less time to answer. Therefore we recommend that you do the easy questions first.
Myth: Don’t be a guesser! If you’re not absolutely positive that you know the right answer, do not guess.
Unanswered questions are worth no points on the SAT, whereas correct answers are worth one point. Incorrect answers, on the other hand, cause a fraction of a point to be deducted from your score. The general advice is always the same: if you can elminate at least one choice, guess.
Myth: If you become famous someday, your test book will be worth a lot of money. Don’t scribble in it. Keep your test book clean.
If you are famous someday, it is precisely your scribbles that will be worth money. The test book is yours to write in (but not to keep).
Myth: If you must doodle somewhere while you think, do it on your answer sheet. This will give the Scantron machines a real workout when trying to figure out what your answers were.
The Scantron machines are quite sensitive, so don’t make stray marks on your answer sheet.
Myth: Hard questions could be anywhere in a section. First thing to do when you start the test: Go look for them (since you’ll be answering them first).
Hard questions are usually later in a section than easier ones. You may find some “easy” questions hard and vice-versa, but in general terms you should do the test sequentially (from easy to hard). Skip hard questions and mark them in your test booklet to come back and do them later.
Myth: Sometimes several answers might work for a question. Mark all the ones that you think are right. Partial credit is given if you get some of the right ones.
Multiple choice questions have one answer on the SAT.
Myth: Don’t worry about checking if you’re marking in the right section/number on your answer sheet. They’ll figure it out if you get confused.
Check to make sure you’re marking in the right place.
Myth: Don’t bring a watch to the test as there’s always a clock on the wall. If for some reason there isn’t one, you can ask the person sitting next to you how much time is left in the section.
Bring a watch to the test, and don’t talk to anybody during the test. You’re likely to get beaten up and/or thrown out of the test.
Myth: That “number two pencil” stuff is overrated. You can write in pen and the machine will read it correctly.
The machine may read other grades of pencils, but probably won’t. Why risk it? Make sure your pencil is a number two. If you want to read more about number two pencils, click here.
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