If you consider to study in the U.S, then you would need to take the SAT exams. Depending on what you plan to study, you would need to take a different “pack” of SAT subject tests. For example, if you plan to study Bioinformatics, it would be a good idea to take Biology, Math Level 1 or 2 (preferable 2) and furthermore it would really help to take Physics. Why Physics? Well, Physics is an universal science discipline and would enhance drastically your methodology of thinking. Physics is a part of many other science subjects and therefore you should have a deeper comprehension on it in order to be good on the other. Consequently, you should pick Physics and Math Level 2 if you plan to pursuit a science career. Of course, in order to be competitive you should also take SAT 1 and if you have time and the knowledge you could also take other subject tests like German, Chemistry, History and so on.
But let us get to the main topic of this post: How to get a good score. There is no straight answer. However, I can give you some tips you should consider and which, though these tips may not guarantee you a perfect score, they would undoubtedly improve your score. Firstly, I will consider the SAT 1 subject test and I will discuss the three parts of it – Reading, Math, Writing.
You will get across two general types of questions: Passage-based reading and sentence completion.
How to prepare for the passage-based reading?
The only key to beat the passage-based reading is… reading books. What a surprise, isn’t it? You should pick hard to read books like “Pride and Prejudice”, “1984”, “The Great Gatsby” and other greats classics. Reading these books you will be stumbled by the many unfamiliar words, that you SHOULD learn. Make flash-cards and study about 40-50 words a day. If you have a 6 months till your SAT exam, you should not panic. You could even learn 20 words a day and still be on schedule.
How to prepare for the sentence completion?
Well, you should only learn words. Read 10 hard books (preferable novels) and you will be ready (of course if you have learned all words in the books). How convenient, isn’t it? To prepare for the passage-based reading and on other hand to be preparing yourself for the sentence completion.
You should also practice. Buy 2-3 SAT books, do the tests, search in Internet. There are plenty of sites which offer SAT tests for free. Some of them contain other helpful material.
Well, honestly, I do not think that this part of the test is hard and you should just be focused and pay attention on the exam, myself. However, if you’re not good in Mathematics you should read a book and do some tests. 10 tests would do fine. Be aware, 1 mistake can cost you 20-30 points!
It is a good idea to read as many books as possible to gain enough examples you can write about in the essay. Being familiar with history would help you as well. If you’re with many walks of life, then you could give an example with your personal experience. And again: do as many tests as possible! Doing so, you will be familiar with all possible questions and common mistakes on the writing section.
The general conclusion: do all the tests you can find and undoubtedly you will get a good score. But be aware that do them with exact timing. If the time has passed, stop doing the section.
Soon I will take my time to write a post about “How to score a good score on SAT subject tests” and I will speak mostly about MATH 1,2, Physics and Chemistry.