Raise from 630 to 750+ in less than a month

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: October 2003 Archive: Raise from 630 to 750+ in less than a month
By Perry2006 (Perry2006) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 11:08 am: Edit

I just took a Real SAT (May 2000, only verbal part) under test condition yesterday. I only got 2 SC/Anal wrong (yay!). But I still couldn't crack the CR... For more than 6/13 quetions that I missed, I had already narrowed it down to two or three choices.. and I still got them wrong! I have improved my SAT score from 510 (PR diag) at July to 630 in October. At this rate, can I raise it up to 750 or above in less than a month? I'm doing 4 critical reading passages everyday starting from last week. But I don't see any improvement. Should I continue with it?
Any help will be much appreciated

My goal is to make a 700+V 800M and 750+Wr on the PSAT this year.

By Crnchycereal (Crnchycereal) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 11:49 am: Edit

Sorry to say it, but if you're practicing so much and haven't seen much improvement, you may have hit your limit. There comes a point when you pretty much level off your score.

By Whatever17 (Whatever17) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 04:03 pm: Edit

I disagree...about reaching your limit.
In the math section, the SAT tests very basic math principles..I'm no genius..but if I had a lot more time on the math section I would get them all right. If you practice enough, after a while these problems will seem like nothing.
On the verbal part...a lot of it is vocab. There is a thing called the SAT word parade...where they have about 300 words mostly tested on SAT. Sometimes, other words pop up on the SAT, but if you're really dedicated...there is a Kaplan Verbal workbook...they have 2000+ SAT words. I guarantee anyone...if they learn and master all those words somehow... they will score 750+ on the SAT.

By Perry2006 (Perry2006) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 06:05 pm: Edit

I had memorized 3500 words from the Barron's Basic Word List over the summer; that's why I managed to get only 2 SC/Anal wrong on the last test.

I took another practice verbal test today.
Raw score 59, another 630... (5 SC/ana & 10CR this time)

I surfed through the old threads and I read about how amalyse and canadian_idol raised their scores from 500+ to 700+/800. This really boasts my confidence and I strongly believe I can also achieve such a high score. (maybe given a little longer time).

I hope this will help a little bit, I have only been in US for 4 years.

And thanks for the comments.

By Whatever17 (Whatever17) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 06:19 pm: Edit

Well...CR is the hard part...like it was for you...memorizing vocab will help u a LOT on analogies/SC, but critical reading...all i can say is keep practicing. The way I see it...if you can get an SAT score that will take you to the college of your choice...proly a selective one...then studying like a maniac and having no life for a month is worth it...you might be better off your whjole life..just because of this one month.

By Whatever17 (Whatever17) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 06:25 pm: Edit

If this is only your pSAT dont even worry about it too much...you still have a year till the real thing.
BTW, how the hell did you memorize 3500 words???? Over the past week I barely memorized about 100 and they're already beginning to escape my mind.

By Sidis (Sidis) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 06:39 pm: Edit

Dude, tell me about vocab issues! I speak english as a second language and I only seem to do well on SC! CR ranks second, but those damn analogies always damages my verbal scores! (600 verbal) I think the best way is just to keep doing exercises, that way you can check your mistakes and learn words that way. At least is better than memorizing 100s of barrons words...! I hopw I get 650+ on November, keep telling strategies pls!

By Wjk323 (Wjk323) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 07:16 pm: Edit

Raising from a 500 to a 700+ is possible. Its definately possible...since Amylase and I (and maybe countless other have done it) BUT I hate to break it to you...but its going to be EXTREMELY hard to get your score above a 700 in less than 2 weeks. You have to keep in mind...people such as Canadian Idol and Amylase have spent months preparing for this ******** test.

My advice to you is to STOP memorizing words...and everytime you finish a test DONT correct it yourself...let your mom, dad, brother, sister, dog, or whatever to correct it for you. When you get the test back...try to figure out...why you got it wrong and tackle the problem again. Dont be so eager to find out your score...since your main job is to improve now.
Well...good luck!

By Wjk323 (Wjk323) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 07:28 pm: Edit

Your taking the PSAT test. hmm..ignore my comments above then...I thought you were taking the SAT I OCT test. You have lots of time...good luck!

By Perry2006 (Perry2006) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 07:47 pm: Edit

My parents speak very, very little English... lol.

Well, I have a pretty decent memory, thus the vocab is not a hard part for me. One way to memorize vocab is to meorize 500 words (7 lists) a day. (I had once memorized 800 words in a day - my obsession over that # in verbal, lol) And you will finish the whole list in a week. Yes, about 8 hours a day. Then you go back to review 5 lists every day; it only takse about an hour once u cracked the hard part. It was an intense training in a short range of time. The most stressful (and most vital) part of it is that you HAVE to go back to review those vocabs, otherwise they will just flow away mysteriously. But after one and a half month you should pretty much commit those words to memory. I still review words chronically to make sure that I don't forget them, but I don't feel bored - it's rather a sense of accomplishment and joy.

This is a good website for those of you know Chinese and want to memorize a large amount of vocab in a very short amount of time.

Note: One defect of this strategy is that you won't be able to put those words into your school essays or other writing stuff although it is good enough for a test like SAT.

And thank you guys so much for the help. I believe that the hardest part of SAT is confidence and attitue; with psychological problems set, I should be able tackle it under a month. (I will like to ace the SAT as a sophomore :-))

By Y17k (Y17k) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 05:21 am: Edit

vocabulary has no impact on Critical reading, which accounts for much of the verbal section...

By Joel_Set (Joel_Set) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 10:57 am: Edit

yeah i am stuck in 630-660ish.. but strangely enough.. it's either i f up on analogies and sc's and do well Cr or I do well on anal and sc and f up on Cr.. so far my highest verbal has been 700.. I really think it's just a matter of concentration.. which is really important for CR.. which, like y17k said, accounts for much of the verbal section..

it is indeed crucial to have the basic analytical skills, but concentration is also just as important. just keep practicing and try to build yourself the patience to endure the 3hrs of testing without any problem and also to BUILD YOUR CONCENTRATION..

this has been the case for me.. which i doubt is the case for you.. but nevertheless.. hope it helps

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 02:34 pm: Edit

I'm doing 4 critical reading passages everyday starting from last week. But I don't see any improvement. Should I continue with it?

Perry2006, YES, YES, and YES!

If you read 4 CR sections a day and really analyze EVERY answer, you will end up developing a feeling for ETS patterns. It is important to review your answers INCLUDING your correct ones. Try to identify the reasons WHY ETS presents them as possible choices and WHY they believe that you can SAFELY eliminate them.

Let me know if you do not see an improvement in one week!

By the way, you are another perfect example why studying/memorizing Barron's list is of such little help. It did not help you anymore than it helped Amylase!

By Mk1o3o (Mk1o3o) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 03:56 pm: Edit

I've memorized about 500 vocabulary words (250 from PR hit parade list) and it has helped me gain about 10-30 raw points on any given SAT I test. That's my personal testimony.

By Wjk323 (Wjk323) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 08:23 pm: Edit

Xiggi means that you should learn vocabulary up to a certain point. Some people in this board find it a NECESSITY to learn all of the Barrons list, which in Xiggi's terms are a waste of time. If you are scoring anywhere below a 1450, just take exams and try to learn how to "think" like an ETS testmaker. Learning the Barrons list comes when you need that extra little push to get above a 1500.

I have learned all of the Gruber's, Barrons, Kaplan, etc. And do you know how much I used to waste my time going over all of my words. I think you should just learn the 300 Parade

By Belial (Belial) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 09:14 pm: Edit

I have no prob in CR. Those damned, smiling analogies!

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 10:00 pm: Edit

Very well said, Wkj.

Nothing in the SAT is ever black nd white. I have said many times that no 2 test takers are equal, especially for the verbal. It is obvious that someone who is a VERY gifted student with great reasoning skills but happened to learn English as a third language is in a different boat than the average US student. For the first student, spending time learning wordlists may not only be helpful but may also be a necessity. My issue with the Barrons 3400 words list is that it is NOT very relevant to the SAT, no matter the publicity it gets. The simple list published by sparknotes is much closer to the SAT than the Barron's list that is nothing more than a recycled GRE list. There is a way to use the Barron's list and that is to use as a STUDY tool. Use it to review your answers and look up all the words that show up on the 10RS and check the Barron's use. It will give you an idea if the list is appropriate for your OWN use.

In order to be successful with your SAT prep, you NEED to develop interactive practices. Nobody is his right mind reads the entire encyclopedia when looking up ONE definition. You first read the question, then you go look it up :) That is why you should build ALL your practice from the 10RS and then spend the time looking for the answers in your source books. It does not help that much to try to learn concepts or words in a vacumm and then hope they'll show up on a test.

Oh well, that is my opinion at least!

By Amylase (Amylase) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 11:59 pm: Edit


I feel honored that my name is mentioned here.
You memerized the Barron's wordlist that's definitely gonna help you alot, cause SAT is just simply a "verbal" test.

But wordlist alone is never sufficient. You also need practice. I'm currently redoing all the 10 real SATs and Xiggi's SATs. I think that's going to help, especially for CR.

What you believe to be right might not necessarily what ETS believes to be right. So redoing them helps you to get a test taking "sense".

By the way, take my advice critically. I'm not a 1600 like canadian_idol or serene, far from that.

My verbal on last practice SAT is:

V: 730 (no improvement)
M: 730 (retrograded!!!!!)

Hope i still have chance to boost my score to 1600 over next week.

By Whatever17 (Whatever17) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 11:59 pm: Edit

I know this post is mainly about verbal...but I'm as frustrated on the math section just as much as some of you are frustrated about the verbal. I look at the problems...and I say...OMG...these are easy. I take a practice test and no problem, I'm confident and I can do all the problems like nothing, but when i go to check my answers I realize that no, 2+3 is not 6 and x>1 means no fractions....it seems I just cant concentrate enough.

By Interested123 (Interested123) on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 05:40 pm: Edit

Whatever17, i used to be (probably still am) in the same boat as you, but for me using the shortcuts really cuts back the error (SAT does not give partial credit so beautiful algebraic equations dont do squat). And ALWAYS check, recheck, rerecheck...keep going until time runs out.

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