Taking Practice Tests on Your Own
There is a finite amount of practice tests. Simply taking them over and over again exhausts the limited supply. Without a tutor, you have no meaningful performance data analysis to apply to your next practice test. Practice makes permanent when you repeat the same mistakes.
Skipping Workbook Work
If you think test prep is repeatedly taking practice tests, your definition of “prep” is wrong. You’d be far better off completing workbook assignments and taking occasional practice tests than ignoring workbook assignments altogether.
Starting Prep Too Late
No one would tell a smoker of 40 years that they shouldn’t quit, but 40 years is a long time. Last-minute test prep definitely has a positive effect, but there is a limit to its effectiveness. The SAT assesses concepts that are built upon long-term foundational knowledge that most students don’t have.
Starting Prep Too Early
Are you a 9th grader planning on beginning hardcore SAT prep? You’re missing the 1.5-2 years’ worth of knowledge that 11th grade you will have. For now, focus on lighter PSAT prep as an introduction to the SAT. Double down on SAT prep beginning in the spring of 10th grade.
Poor Time Management and Accountability
When are you taking all these practice tests—9 pm on a school night with your social media feeds open? From where are you receiving the necessary feedback to not just do better but think better? Most of the test will remain invisible to you without a healthy approach to test prep.