Ace the SAT by turning disappointments into success

Okay, so you’ve taken the SAT. Maybe you walked out feeling confident, or maybe you felt like you flunked. Either way, you didn’t get the score you were hoping for, maybe you weren’t even close. You know what? Don’t worry. The SAT is intense, and it is totally normal not to ace it the first time. The good news is that you can take it again, and this time around you have the advantage of experience to help you get that mark you want.

The most crucial part of re-taking the SAT is to learn from your mistakes, so here are our top tips to turn a disappointing SAT result into a tool for success:

Reflect and review

When you first receive your results, you will probably feel emotional. That is perfectly okay, and you should let yourself have a big cry. Once you have released some of the initial shock and disappointment, you will be in a better place to rationally assess where you went wrong.

Take some time to go through each section of your results carefully. By understanding your weaknesses, you can work on making them your strengths. It is also worth reflecting on the actual test day experience: did your nerves get in the way? Did you run out of time? Did you have trouble sleeping the night before? Did any of the questions knock your confidence?

Mindfulness techniques can be a very important part of study, so incorporating some into your study will set you up to feel confident next time around.

Revise and reach out

If you’re going to ace the SAT, it’s time to create a new study plan. Now you’ve identified your weaknesses, you can gather resources and design a schedule that targets these areas. Now would also be a great time to reach out for help – study resources such as Lumos Learning’s StepUp program make it easy to structure a simple and effective revision plan.

You’ve probably studied a lot of the content, so practice exams are going to be a priority this time around. With StepUp, you can revise, take a practice test, review your results and hone in on areas you’re still struggling with. Don’t worry, you’re not in this alone – there is help out there!

Stay positive and re-prioritize

If you’re to succeed, you need to believe in yourself first and foremost. Remember that you are capable and worthy, and there is so much more to you than test results. Now is a time to take a clear look at your priorities and plans for college, and assess if your goals have perhaps shifted. While you may have a dream college in mind, you may also take this time to diversify your options to relieve some of the pressure you’ve put on yourself.

You should be proud of yourself for making it this far, and it is that positive attitude that will take you over the finish line! Remember: there is so much more to you than an SAT score, and the irony is that once you realize that you will surely have the confidence to ace it.


Alice Moore