Take realistic practice tests
Taking at least a few mock SAT/ACT exams can help you prepare for the actual exam while also helping you develop your time management skills. A great way to do this is to simulate the actual testing environment as closely as possible. So skip the breaks, snacks, music or any other things you wouldn’t be able to do during the actual test.
Recognize the ascending order of difficulty
In the math section of the SAT/AT the questions become increasingly difficult as you move through the section. If you feel that you can’t figure out the answers to the last few questions don’t waste time trying to answer them. It is better to use that time to review your answers to the questions in the beginning and middle sections.
Read the questions carefully
Don’t rush through reading the questions because you feel the pressure of the time clock. Read the question and be sure you understand what it is asking before you answer. You are sure to encounter questions on the test that have incorrect answer choices that can often be misinterpreted because you didn’t understand the question because you didn’t take time to really read it.
Avoid random guessing in the multiple choice sections
The way the SAT is scored it penalizes you for incorrect answers. Therefore, it is not beneficial to random guess on questions. You actually lose more points if you answer a question incorrectly than if you were to not answer it at all. If you have no idea what the correct answer is skip it and move on. If, however, you can eliminate at least one answer choice as an incorrect one then it is advantageous for you to guess. If you can eliminate one answer as being the wrong one you improve your odds of choosing the correct answer. The exception to this rule is when there is a problem solving question that requires you to write in an answer. When this is the case you should solve the problem to the best of your ability and write in an answer.
The most important thing in preparing for theses tests is practice. Spend as much time as possible taking practice exams. It will help you understand the process, teach you to manage your time, and give you the confidence of knowing how to navigate through the instructions and the questions. It is encouraged that you use practice exams that have actual questions from previous exams. Another key is to spend more time on studying and practicing questions in your weakest subject area to help you gain the confidence you need to tackle the test.