Most students in their preparation for the SAT undertake Practice Tests/Mock tests. However, not many go back to their solved papers to analyse their performance. While taking tests is an important part of your SAT preparation, you must also identify the areas of your strengths and weaknesses and issues that you are facing while taking these tests. After taking the Practice Test, it is important to try and figure out if the un-attempted questions were due to time constraint or lack of knowledge or further, if some of them were even worth attempting. This will give you a clear picture about your time management and question selection. A crucial part of clearing the sectional-cut off is to choose the right questions and getting them right. The analysis should give you feedback about two things:
1. How to plan your preparation
2. How to execute a test
A section-wise and topic-wise performance analysis will point out the areas of your strengths and weaknesses. This should help you plan your preparation between two SAT Practice tests. The planning of a test includes not only studying well, but also making a schedule. Two tests in a week is a rational target and will help you to take the test efficiently, using the analysis to improve your performance systematically.
Efficient execution of a test is when you are able to bring out the performance that you are capable of unaffected by the difficulty level of the questions and by the stress level that may increase under test conditions. This is achieved by spending a few minutes to assess the quality of a section before attempting the questions.
For the Maths section, you should remember to judiciously select the questions you will not be answering. It is imperative that you do not get stuck at any one question for too long.
Correct and Prevent
While analyzing a Practice Test, do not merely look at your overall score and be satisfied or dissatisfied by your performance. Understand why you scored in a certain way and learn to undertake corrective and preventive measures to improve your score in subsequent tests. Corrective measures include earmarking areas where you have gone wrong and then rigorously practice those.
Preventive measure include marking particular questions that fetched you negative marks and understanding if they were genuine errors or silly mistakes like missing out on an easy question, lack of concentration or losing too much time over a particular question.
Ideally you must have data of your performance in at least five Practice Tests before you can mark a problem or bring about a change in your preparation strategy. It is also advisable to analyse your scores with the help of a peer, counsellor or teacher since they can point out those flaws you may have overlooked. Your analysis could actually lead to increasing your confidence in the actual SAT