The number one most important SAT tip is Think With the End in Mind.
Simple enough, right?
Think With the End in Mind—I tell my students—means first figure out where you want to go to college. Even if you cannot decide on one school, narrow down your options to two or three.
Once you know the school or schools where you intend to apply, find out the average SAT score for the incoming students. Most schools post this information on their websites. For example, about 10% of incoming Stanford students had a combined 2400 on their SATs. About 40% had a combined score of 2100-2399.
The score you find for your ideal school is now your goal, or your End.
Note that this score is “scaled” and based on your raw score. The raw score is basically a calculation of total correct answers minus ¼ incorrect answers (for most questions, you lose ¼ of a point if they are incorrect).
If you use the Official Guide to the SAT by the College Board, you can learn how the raw score is then converted into a scaled score. It’s a process that the College Board uses to standardize scores across all test takers.
In knowing your raw score, you know how many correct answers you need per section to achieve your scaled score. And this knowledge is more than half the battle.
This knowledge drives the strategy behind your approach to each and every question.
So Think With the End in Mind. This will determine your strategy which is really what the SAT is all about.