From Quora: "What are my odds of getting 1400 in the SAT, without preparing for the test but taking AP Language and Honors pre-calculus for the whole year?"
I can’t know that without knowing you, your courses, how you performed, etc. If you’re a high-performing student (either near the top of your class, or even in the middle at a really rigorous high school), you could score a 1400 without prep, but why risk it?
A decent SAT prep book is at most a $30 investment, or you can probably get a used one from someone for free or a few dollars. You can even borrow them for free. Spend about 30 hours (maybe 2 to 6 hours a week) just practicing so you’ll know the format of the test, the kinds of tricks they use in the math questions, how they justify which are the “best” answers for reading questions, and basic grammar, punctuation and writing style.
The math section has questions with tricks that don’t measure your math ability so much as your ability to read directions carefully, avoid being tricked by inaccurate diagrams not drawn to scale, or use shortcuts for certain problems.
The reading has questions with two correct answers, but one is “better” than the other, and it’s not always obvious why one is “better” unless you’ve practiced and know how the SAT people think.
Most of the grammar is easy, but some official Standard American English isn’t really how people in the U.S. speak or write in everyday life, and SAT-land writing style may be different from yours - the SAT people have different ideas about redundancy than you might have (they don’t seem to understand writing style, humor, etc.). They expect you to know parallelism, the passive voice and why to avoid it, and other things your schools may not have taught you.
Finally, the SAT essay is different from most essays you’ve had to write in high school, where you analyze a piece of writing without arguing for or against the point expressed in the writing. You have to just explain HOW the author makes the main point, not whether or not the point itself is valid.
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Author: John Linneball Who did you think? ;-)
I'm the proprietor and only tutor for this business; that's why I named it after me.