The Underrated SAT Skills Test

By: Raj Chander
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Which skill involves excluding at least one option you know for sure to be incorrect?
Eliminating wrong answers
By getting rid of just one incorrect answer on a test question, you can increase your odds of getting the question right by 25%. Eliminating two answers means you have a 50% shot of choosing the correct answer!
Taking notes
Guessing
Time management

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What's it called when you genuinely start to become curious about the things you're reading?
Instinct
Collaboration
Getting interested in the material
It's much easier to learn when you find something enjoyable. If a passage you've been assigned aligns with something you're interested in, take advantage and get immersed in it!
Honesty

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What skill describes going through a passage quickly at the beginning of the test?
Verbosity
Skimming
While you should always try to understand test passages fully, sometimes a surface-level skim is enough for you to answer a few questions.
Language
Flexibility

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Avoiding the instructions and starting on the test as soon as time begins is called?
Compartmentalization
Communication
Jumping to the questions
Some find it a better use of time to move right into the questions. You can always come back to the instructions if you get unsure. However, this can also backfire, so be thoughtful about your process!
Teamwork

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Which of these are most important to have memorized?
Physical fitness
Formulas
While you are allowed to use a calculator on the test, you still have to know how to use it. There's no way to get around knowing formulas if you want a high score on the SAT math section.
Slang
Chunking

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What is it called when you read the section's directions for the second time, after reading the passage you've been assigned?
Relationship building
Empathy
Focus
Re-reading the instructions
Once you understand the passage, you'll have more context for what the test's instructions are telling you to do. This is helpful because sometimes decoy answers can fool you if you're not certain of the instructions.

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Which skill means going with the answer that comes to mind first?
Intensity
Trusting your instinct
"Going with your gut" means trusting your instincts, the feeling you get about which answer is right before you spend a while thinking about it. That hunch isn't fooling you!
Communication
Time management

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What is it called when you see yourself choosing the right answer before it happens?
Visualization
Athletes, entrepreneurs, and musicians are just some of the people who achieve success by visualizing themselves accomplishing their goals. By seeing yourself getting the answers right, you make it more likely to happen in real life.
Vulnerability
Etiquette
Self-awareness

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Skimming, chunking, or going through the passage backwards are all examples of what kind of skill?
Reading strategy
When you have a strategy for the way you read your passages, you'll feel more confident and spend less time figuring out how to answer the questions on the reading and writing sections of the test.
Discipline
Teamwork
Confidence

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What skill allows you to isolate important sentences and sections of passages on the SAT?
Friendship
Highlighting
Highlighting allows you to extract key points from each passage so that you have a better understanding of main ideas, which can make answering comprehension questions easier.
Self-talk
Guessing

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What skill involves dedicating a set amount of time to each question?
Team building
Time management
You only have three hours and 50 minutes to complete the test. Get the most out of this time by having a plan for how you will use it, which will let you devote more time to the areas that need it.
Visualization
Memory

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What is it called when you begin with areas you are most confident in?
Discipline
Quiet
Starting with what you know
Getting off on the right foot is key to doing well on the test, so start off with areas you know the most. This will also help you build confidence to hit those tougher parts when it's time.
Collaboration

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Which skill means reading surrounding words to understand the meaning of a word you don't know?
Confidence
Context
The context of a word you are unsure of can often help you understand the full question. Of course there's no substitute for old-school vocabulary memorization!
Guessing
Logic

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Making sure you read a passage no more than twice is also called?
Limiting re-reading
After two times reading a passage, you've probably learned all you are going to get from it. Conserve your time by doing the best you can with what you know.
Confidence
Collaboration
Empathy

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What is it called when you use short points to put together the longer main idea of an essay?
Diligence
Anxiety
Bullet point outline
By planning your essay with shorter segments, it's easier to settle on a single theme when writing. This will help you organize your thoughts and write something coherent even though you have limited time to do so.
Focus

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What skill involves using the fewest possible number of words to make your point?
Guessing
Positivity
Conciseness
Good writing is concise writing. Whenever possible, avoid using "fluff" or filler words that don't add anything to the main point of your essay. Test-scorers are looking for clarity, not extras.
Collaboration

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What should you do instead of leaving questions blank?
Visualization
Answer every question
You aren't penalized for a wrong answer on the SAT, so you might as well give yourself a chance at getting points by guessing at the answer you think might be right.
Chunking
Time management

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Which skill allows you to focus on the things you struggle with?
Team building
Sympathy
Visualization
Isolating difficulties
If you come into the SAT with an idea of which test areas you'll struggle with, it will be easier to do well on those sections. Taking several practice tests will help you know where you struggle most.

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What skill means addressing yourself in a helpful, optimistic way?
Verbosity
Positive self talk
Optimism is scientifically proven to make you happier, healthier, and increase performance. Give yourself a healthy pat on the back when you need it with positive self-talk.
Discipline
Flexibility

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What do you call a keepsake or object that you think will help you on the test?
Lucky charm
While bringing a fake rabbit's foot won't help you on the SAT, it will make you feel better about your performance—and a positive attitude will almost certainly boost your score.
Consistency
Visualization
Positive thinking

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The practice of writing down important information is also called?
Taking notes
Not only are notes helpful to refer back to, the act of writing has been shown to help improve recall. In fact, writing on paper is the best for recall, but any notes are good notes.
Concentration
Kindness
Communication

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Which skill will help you get through the test physically?
Guessing
Stretching your fingers
Holding a pencil or calculator too tightly can cause muscle cramps. Stretching will keep your hands loose so your body doesn't work against you during the SAT.
Optimism
Focus

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Which skill describes progressing through a passage the opposite way you usually would?
Mental strength
Discipline
Organization
Reading backwards
Taking notes is a powerful method for improving recall and memory. The simple act of writing something down helps you to remember it. Learn and practice this skill - it will be critical when you get to college.

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What is the name of this skill, performed after your essay is written, that will improve your score?
Reinforcement
Editing
It's not enough to be a good writer—you also have to be skilled at knowing what to leave in and what to exclude. Editing will turn a good SAT essay into a great one.
Guessing
Communication

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What skill involves using a name, phrase, or object to recall certain information?
Communication
Mnemonic device
Mnemonic devices typically create new acronyms and phrases to help you remember other sets of information. For example, if you can remember the phrase, "Every Good Boy Does Fine," you'll know the notes on the lines of a musical staff in treble clef. This skill can help you recall long pieces of information that you need for the SAT.
Teamwork
Focus

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Which of these skills means repeating a phrase or word to keep yourself balanced?
Recovery
Discipline
Organization
Mantra
Mantras may seem a bit too spiritual for the SAT, but they can help keep you on an even keel when things get challenging. You'll probably want to repeat your mantra silently while taking the test.

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Getting to the testing site ten or fifteen minutes before your test is scheduled to begin is an example of which skill?
Realism
Arriving early
You have enough to stress about before the SAT. Don't add more anxiety to the day by having to rush to get to the testing site on time. Eat a healthy breakfast, do a few jumping jacks, and be on your way!
Responsibility
Judgment

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What skill means not handing in your SAT test early?
Collaboration
Using all allotted time
There's no bonus for finishing early—you might as well use all of the time you have available on the SAT to ensure that you get the best possible score.
Eliminating wrong answers
Compartmentalization

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Which skill involves paying attention to the summary sentences before each passage?
Unwinding
Parallelism
Constructive criticism
Using blurbs
The blurb is there to help you understand passages—while it may not give you all the info you need, it can help put things in context so you know what is important.

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Which skill is important for making sure you are finding enough errors on the SAT Writing and Language Test?
Pragmatism
Counting the "NO CHANGE" answers
"NO CHANGE" is an option for almost every question in the writing section of the SAT, but it's only the right answer in about 1 in 5 questions. By counting the number of times you select this answer, you'll know if you're on the right track or not.
Kindness
Focus

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What skill helps you refresh your mind and recharge your focus?
Taking a break
The mind can only focus on a single task for so long. Keep your brain fresh by taking breaks periodically, either on your own schedule or in line with the official breaks allowed during the test.
Skimming
Teamwork
Chunking

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Which skill means keeping your performance on different sections of the test separate?
Daydreaming
Compartmentalization
Just because you did well on the first section of the test doesn't mean you'll do well on ensuing ones, and vice versa. Whether you felt like you had a good performance or a poor one, leave it in the past so you can focus on doing your best on the next part of the SAT.
Meditation
Collaboration

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Which skill involves self-talk to assess comprehension?
Asking yourself questions
One of the best ways to show you understand something is being able to answer questions about it. Think of how you would answer hypothetical questions about each passage to make sure you know what it really means.
Commitment
Follow-through
Guessing

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Which skill is necessary to get the right answer, especially in the Math section?
Concentration
Solving for the right thing
Math questions are particularly notorious for having several different answers that could be produced. Look for the phrase "solve for" to clue you in to what the question is really asking.
Willpower
Generosity

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What skill ensures you are ready for the test well before taking it?
Collaboration
Preparing the night before
It's one of the most important moments of your academic career - spend as much time as possible preparing for it by getting your logistics in order the night before. However, don't stress out too much—aside from being early, follow your normal routines the morning of the SAT.
Anxiousness
Strength

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