The 4 Most Common SAT Prep Mistakes

Are you preparing for the SAT? It’s a crucial exam that can determine your college admissions success. However, like any endeavor, SAT prep can go wrong in numerous ways, making it important to understand the most common mistakes in order to avoid them.

In this article, we will explore the four most common SAT prep mistakes and provide valuable tips to help you overcome them.

1. Relying solely on SAT prep classes

Many students mistakenly believe that attending SAT prep classes is enough to guarantee success. While these classes do offer valuable insights and strategies, the key to improvement lies in self-study. The majority of students fail to do their homework or put in the necessary hours of practice outside of class, resulting in stagnant scores.

To truly excel, it’s essential that you take the initiative to practice SAT-style questions on your own. Don’t rely solely on your teacher’s guidance; actively engage in self-study to maximize your potential.

2. Neglecting a structured study schedule

One of the most challenging aspects of SAT prep is maintaining a consistent study routine. After a long day, it’s tempting to relax on the couch instead of dedicating time to study. However, without a structured schedule, it’s easy to procrastinate and allow your preparation to pile up until the last minute. To avoid this common pitfall, create a study schedule that suits your needs.

Ideally, a three-month SAT study schedule is recommended, but if time is limited, a one-month schedule can still be effective. By adhering to a schedule, you’ll prevent the overwhelming feeling of cramming and ensure steady progress towards your SAT goals.

3. Failing to analyze incorrect answers

When practicing SAT questions, it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter incorrect answers. However, simply acknowledging the correct answer and moving on is not enough. Each wrong answer deserves your attention and analysis. Take the time to dissect why you got it wrong. Was it a difficult concept or a careless mistake?

By thoroughly understanding your errors, you can learn from them and improve your scores. Remember, learning from mistakes is the key to progress.

4. Ignoring test-taking strategies

The SAT encompasses various question types, each requiring specific strategies for optimal performance. For example, sentence completions can become easier if you focus on the sentence structure and create your own word for the blank before evaluating the answer choices. Neglecting to learn and apply these test-taking strategies can limit your potential.

While studying the content is important, it’s equally crucial to study the test itself. Mastering the strategies for different question types will help you achieve the highest possible score.


By avoiding these four common mistakes and implementing the strategies we’ve discussed, you can significantly enhance your SAT preparation and increase your chances of obtaining a higher score. Remember, the key is to patiently and thoroughly engage with SAT questions.

The more dedicated practice you put in, the greater your improvement will be. With determination, discipline, and the right approach, you can conquer the SAT and unlock new opportunities for your future education.

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