The Ultimate SAT Survival Guide: Proven Techniques for Last-Minute Prep

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Issue 11, Volume 113

By Tamiyyah Shafiq 

Cover Image

Welcome, dear reader, to the ultimate survival guide for the SAT. And that’s your goal. Survival. A score that will allow you to escape the beating that awaits you upon your parents receiving your score. I know what you are thinking: “Even your study guide cannot help me now; there is less than a week left!” Fear not, for I have scoured the depths of the internet to compile the most useful guide to help you ace the test in record time (and found the most effective study drugs to take the night before). I, Dr. Shafiq, PhD in SAT-ing, hereby testify that the methods listed below have been tested and are backed by extensive scientific research on the topic.

Step 1: Acceptance

The first step is to accept the reality of the situation. You have procrastinated and now have less than a week left. You must feel regret, you must feel shame, you must be so angry at yourself that you can feel the rage flowing through your blood. “But why should I waste time wallowing in self-pity, when I can be studying? I’m already depressed, I don’t need to be more depressed!” However, this step is absolutely essential. If you don’t feel bad about your horrible decision making and planning skills for the next four days, you will not feel motivated to work extra hard the remaining three to make up for it. And let’s be real: you’re here, reading The Spectator, not exactly in front of a Princeton Review book. Cry if you need to, scream if you must, but ultimately accept that you have completely butchered any chances of getting yourself a decent score.

Step 2: Pray

Do you feel sufficiently ashamed of yourself? You should. The second step is to pray to the test gods. Every night before you sleep, chant the following:

“O mighty test gods, hear our plea,

Grant us a score that is 1603.

We’ve studied hard, or so we say,

So please don’t let us fail that day.

Please let us do our best,

Our future depends on this test.

We promise to never cram again,

Or else we shall die a death full of pain.

So test gods, hear our prayer,

Show us that you really care.

Give us a score that’s beyond compare,

And we’ll worship you, the ever most fair.”

After chanting, burn up an offering to the test gods. It is best to burn all of your SAT prep books, so the gods know what you need more help with. That increases the likelihood of your prayer being accepted.

Step 3: Misinformation

As you probably don’t know, the SAT is graded on a curve. That means that the worse everyone else does, the better you do. The course of action is clear: start spreading as much misinformation on the internet as possible to ensure that everyone else does a lot worse than you. Just be sure to not start believing the misinformation yourself.

Step 4: Food

Now that you’ve got the vocab down, you may be hungry. This step is really important. Do not, under ANY circumstances, eat “real” food. All this will do is make you have to use the bathroom and waste precious time. Rather, eat the SAT textbook, so that the information is internalized and you do not have to waste time memorizing anything. It is recommended that you do this only an hour or so before the test so that you don’t have to visit the ER until AFTER you’ve already aced the exam.

Step 5: Fake It Till You Make It

I know I told you to be ashamed of yourself, but at this point in our study plan, continuing to be ashamed of yourself would do more harm than good. It is now time for our favorite method: the classic “Fake It Till You Make It.” If you can convince your parents that you are on track for a perfect 1600, you get an extra two weeks to plan your escape from the country! Confidence is key! Keep repeating the following statement: “I am a test-taking ninja. I strike fear into the hearts of SAT questions, I leave them trembling in their miniscule answer boxes! I am the master of the SAT, the king of the scantron, the ruler of the multiple choice. Nothing can stop me from achieving my SAT greatness; no question is too difficult, no answer choice too obscure! Come at me, SAT, and tremble in fear!” Mommy always did say, after all, that if you say something enough times, you’ll start believing it!

OPTIONAL Step 6: Bribery

If Step 5 did not work for you and you still lack confidence, this may be the step for you. Bribe someone into taking the test for you. It’s not so difficult—all you must do is threaten to steal their gym clothes from their locker. Oh, I shudder! Every student’s worst fear! The shame of having to go to gym class without wearing the stinky gym clothes that have been marinating in their own stink since freshman year in your locker! Of course, it may be the end of your academic career if you get caught doing this, but what is life without a bit of risk?

That is all for now. If you want to buy the full guide, please go to this link: The SAT may seem like a giant monster ready to devour your hopes and dreams, but fear not. If you follow the clever strategies explained above, you will emerge victorious. Good luck, as Spec Humor is with you (we have an astonishing 1100 department average)!