You Don’t want to get Perfect on the Practice Tests

Yes, you read that right. While doing practice tests, you don’t necessarily want to get perfect.


Because you don’t learn anything if you get perfect.

Okay, let me qualify that. You don’t want to get perfect, at first. The first few (8 or more) practice tests are to find out what you still need to learn.

Students are frequently disheartened when they do a practice test, and they feel as if they failed. You did notice I used the word “feel” there, didn’t you? They did not fail. They now have identified the types of questions that they need to work on. They now have pinpointed vocabulary they don’t know. They now have realized that they can’t trust their ear when it comes to grammar. Learning can begin.

A single practice test (yes, even those produced by the College Board) does not cover everything that is possible on a future SAT. You need to take several just to encounter all of the possibilities. So don’t get too cocky Mr. 1450 because the SAT you take next week could slap you across the face with an Assumption/Generalization Question or a Colon that defies explanation.

When you start practicing, remember that is all it is–practice. It doesn’t go on anyone’s permanent record, it won’t prevent you from acceptance at your dream school, and its purpose isn’t to tell you that you are either a genius or a failure. Its purpose is to distinguish what you know from what you don’t know, so you can improve.

You can’t fail the SAT.

You can fail to learn from your mistakes, and more mistakes are just more opportunities to break bad habits, improve your skills, and actually stand a chance of acing the actual SAT.

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