Maximize Your Potential for an Excellent Score

There is no barrier to SAT test day being the BEST day you’ve had so far. So if your practice tests have yet to live up to your expectations, recognize that AT A MINIMUM, your potential is the best single math practice score you had, plus the best single verbal you had, plus 5 points for every “dumb mistake” you had on those tests.

Best Math Score ______ + (Dumb mistakes * 5) ______ +
Best Verbal Score ______ + (Dumb mistakes * 5) ______ =
Total Minimum Potential ______

Add those up. For almost every student who has tutored extensively with Ivy Bound, that should be a satisfying number. Now how to make that a reality:

Meeting Your Potential

My favorite thing is to eliminate barriers. Three barriers keep many students from meeting their potential:

  1. Not knowing what to expect of the SAT test
  2. Not knowing what to expect of yourself
  3. Getting distracted / flummoxed during the test.

Let me address why the Ivy Bound student should be unlikely to be stopped by these barriers:

  1. You know the SAT test. You’ve seen at least 10 of them and in terms of format, directions, and general content, it will not change on test day.
  2. You know yourself. You’ve taken at least two full length, time practice SAT tests and probably other partial tests. You know what to expect in terms of time and range of result. If anything, time is LESS of a problem on test day. Adrenaline works to the advantage of 90% of all students, who find themselves working slightly more briskly when it counts. In terms of range of result, you know that no section is going to crush you (if one does on test day, it’s probably the Experimental one), and you know your potential to NAIL IT. Finally, you all have a Game Plan that you’ve filled out at least one time, and perhaps modified. So you know what to expect of yourself.
  3. You don’t succumb to distractions. You are the guerrilla fighter, prepared to tune out noises around you. There may be a proctor talking, a bell ringing, a marching band playing (we know of a testing classroom outside which people were “mooning”), but that doesn’t bother you.

You keep your concentration by not thinking about past or future sections, but thinking about nailing the problem you are working on and letting the cumulation take care of itself. That pro athlete’s cliche “We take it one game at a time” is actually appropriate to doing SAT problems on test day.