I’m surprised how many students sign up for test prep courses or tutoring before they’ve ever taken a full-length practice test. Don’t do it. Even if you know you struggle with test-taking, take a full length exam before you make a decision about how to prepare. Your result—and how it compares to the average scores of admitted students at the colleges that interest you—can help you make good decisions about just how intensive your test prep needs to be.
The College Board offers a free full-length practice SAT exam that can be taken online or printed out. If you want to get the most out of it, treat it like a real test-day. Don’t do a few sections, call it a day, and come back next week to finish it. Set aside the 3 ½ hours and have someone time you, just like the real thing.
It’s not a fun way to spend an afternoon, but the more representative your result, the better prep decisions you can make, and the closer you’ll get to making the SAT a part of your past.