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Battle Plan: Diagnostic

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Timed and Untimed Scores


There are two challenges to the SAT: getting the right answers and getting them before time runs out. Here's a method that lets you how well you are handling each challenge.

Before each section of the practice test, set a timer to the time limit given at the beginning of that section then start work.

When the timer goes off, draw a line on the answer sheet indicating how far you got then continue working on the test until you've finished all of the questions. Do not go back and redo any of the questions above the line.

Calculate two scores: one (untimed) based on all the questions you answered; and one (timed) based on the questions you answered before the time ran out.

When you first start studying, you should focus mainly on your untimed score, then shift your focus to the timed score as you get closer to the actual test day.

You will need to use a slightly different technique with the essay section. The first few times you take the practice tests, use as much time as you want on the essay. Have an English teacher or someone else at your school who is familiar with the SAT grade the essay. As soon as you start seeing acceptable scores on the essay start timing yourself.