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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Life At Harvard: Unconventional Tricks for the SAT from Harvard Students

Adnan, Adams House, Class of 2017

“If shooting for an 800 on the Math section, practice speeding through the first 10 questions on each section in about five minutes. This way you get used to moving through the simple questions more quickly and learn to trust your judgment on these types of questions so that you will have plenty of time to tackle the more difficult ones.”
– Michael '17

“For critical reading questions that ask you about what a word "most nearly means" or what a line "suggests," look back at the passage and try answering the question in your own words before looking at the answer choices. Sometimes the answers can tempt you to pick a word that sounds good but isn't actually proven in the text!” 
– Madeline '16

“Underline the first sentence of every paragraph in a critical reading passage. It will help you go back and find information as you work through the questions.” 
– Joule '17

“The first time I read through a question, I identify the most likely answer choice given; then, I make the ASL sign for its letter (A, B, C, D, or E) with my left hand under the table to keep track of it as I check it against the other choices a second time.”
– Paige '16

“I wore my Harvard T-shirt bought from The Harvard Shop. The t-shirt gave me confidence throughout the test and definitely relieved the pressure I would have had if I wore a T-shirt from the COOP.” 
– Ali '15

“During the reading section, when limited on time, don't read the entire passage. Read the introduction, conclusion, and the first and last sentences of each paragraph. Go back and read further only when specific lines are referenced in the questions.” 
– Keegan '17

“On the critical reading section, I always recommend writing a 1-3 word summary next to every paragraph to help students better grapple with the high-level thematic questions. It serves to keep students from getting lost in the details, and also works as a road map, so it's easier to find where the key info is for all the questions.” 
– Danielle '15

“My high schools air conditioning is not reliable so, at the same time, I wore shorts and pants, both bought from The Harvard Shop. In the middle of the test, I took off my pants. It relieved my body and pressure from the test.” 
– Mickey '15

“If the answers of the problem have a variable or variables in them, no need to do algebra. Plug in a number(s) of your choice for the variables in the question (generally try to avoid 1 or zero as it can make the trick more difficult), and solve the problem. This is your target answer. Using the same values you picked to solve the problem, solve every one of the multiple-choice answers. The multiple-choice option that results in the same value as your target answer is the correct answer! (Note: if multiple options yield the same result as your target answer, change one or more of the variables, and the correct answer will arise).” 
– Rob '15

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