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Common Mistakes While Preparing For SAT And GRE

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The SAT is a standardized test used widely for college admissions (undergraduate) in the US. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is another standardized test useful for gaining entry into graduate programs in the US and elsewhere.

Both these tests need careful preparation and planning. Preparing for these exams is no cake walk. Hence if you are going to spend much money and time for preparation, make sure you are preparing smart.

Mistakes In SAT Preparation

  • Starting too late:

The SAT is a reasoning test but it depends on a multitude of content and skills that you would have gained all through your career in high school. If you wait for a few days before the SAT for SAT exam preparation, it will not help you to construct and strengthen your reasoning skills or master any of the academic concepts you need to review. Ensure that you devote time at least 3 to 4 months before the SAT to permit you to build on your strengths and tackle your weaknesses.

  • Taking too many mock tests

Many students prepare for SAT by taking mock or practice tests. While this can be useful for preparation, relying only on mock tests is a recipe for failure. You must also sit down and analyze where and why you made mistakes. You must use practice tests to enhance more than your familiarity and stamina while taking the exam. Look at every wrong answer you made and practice many questions in this type.

  • Cheating on practice tests

One other mistake committed by students is to take mock tests without simulating standard test taking conditions during the mock tests. You may have broken the mock test into multiple pieces and taken them on various days. You may also have allowed yourself to take a few extra minutes per question and thus violated the authenticity of test taking conditions. By taking full length mock tests, your brain will be trained to focus for long periods of time. Also, you can gain awareness of kind of mistakes you make when you are tired towards the end of the exam.

  • Attending large group training programs

In case you wish to attend large group preparation classes, note that these are seldom effective or efficient. Group classes revolve around concepts which the average student struggles with. The more you rank away from an average student, the less useful will be the classes. Any improvement you sense after taking such classes is a natural development with your taking multiple mock tests.

General Mistakes With GRE

Students tend to commit a few common mistakes while making preparations for the GRE:

  • GRE is an important test and not something for which you can do with last minute preparations. If you wait last minute, you will be confused with a deluge of information and you may even forget what you have learned.
  • There are several free online resources and GRE preparation classes which provide practical tools and guidance for the exam. In case you miss such opportunities, you may not be able to take the test in a timely and successful way.
  • Every section of the test is very different from one another and needs specific preparation. In case you don’t practice equally for all sections, your final score will suffer even if you have done well in one section.
  • Sticking to one kind of resource will set you back. Prepare for the test with diverse resources like multiple guide books, online tests, sample questions etc.

These are all some facts about taking the SAT and the GRE.


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