Stop making these silly mistakes on the SAT/ACT

Mistakes are normal, but if you’re going to ace your upcoming SAT/ACT exam, you will have to try to minimize them. Being aware of the mistakes you are likely to make is a great first step in avoiding them, so here are some common mistakes that could lose you points on test day:

Writing Mistakes

Assuming You Know The Grammar

It can be very tempting to “listen” to what sentence sounds better, but many grammatical questions rely on a specific and standardized set of grammar rules. It is crucial that you are familiar with the grammar before the exam, as it may not be as intuitive as you would hope.

Choosing The Answer Too Quickly

In multiple-choice questions, there will often be an option that is almost correct. This option can easily trick you into haphazardly selecting the wrong answer. Make sure not to rush and read every option thoroughly; sometimes, the difference between correct and incorrect is subtle.

Reading Mistakes

Losing Track Of Time

The reading portion of the tests can be very fast-paced, requiring you to read and answer each passage extremely quickly. By dwelling on a particular passage or question, you may run out of time. Instead, if you are unsure mark the question down and come back to it.

Relying On Previous Knowledge

By this point, you probably have a thorough understanding of many broad concepts and contexts of the world in general. This is an excellent thing but can get in the way of answering exam questions succinctly. Most questions will provide the contextual clues to answer correctly, and shouldn’t actually require too much prior knowledge. If you are answering based on the information you never studied, you’re likely going in the wrong direction.

Maths Mistakes

Forgetting Formulas

While some formulas will be provided, there is a chance that you will need certain formulas that aren’t presented with the exam. Besides, checking formulas takes time and disrupts that important exam momentum. Include a formula sheet in your study, and spend some time drilling yourself on them.

Skipping Details

In a rush to finish your exam, it can be easy to brush oversteps in a mathematical equation. Especially in non-calculator sections, you could easily make a mistake that results in the wrong answer by trying to do it all in your head. Writing down every step also makes it easier to check your work and troubleshoot if you have any spare time in the end.

There’s no need to panic- if you take the time to prepare for your upcoming SAT/ACT you can be calm and ready. Many of these little mistakes can easily be eliminated through practice, so scheduling in some practice exams is a crucial step to acing the test. On test day, try to keep a clear head, and you will surely avoid any unforced errors.


Alice Moore