Taking the SAT as a non-native English speaker presents a big challenge. If you are in that category, you will just have to work twice as hard as your native English counterparts. Study smartly and you will be on your way to an American school of your choice.
Some useful SAT tips for non-native English speakers :
Learn vocabulary – One of the easy SAT hacks. Learning English words and their meanings will give you a lot of advantage in many sections of the SAT. Not only will it help you in the sentence correction question, it will also rub off on the Reading Comprehension questions and improve your understanding of English. Use flashcards and apps for learning vocabulary.
Grammar is important – The great thing about being a non-native English speaker is that you can pay attention to the details from the scratch. There are rules such as subject verb agreement, punctuations and other such areas which you can learn and apply in the exam.
Read, read, read – A non-native English speaker has to do a lot of reading. Even if you don’t like it, you will have to do it. Read articles from the Economist, The Wall Street Journal and online blogs. You should also read novels to get used to reading large amounts of English text.
Essay – You may think that you are seriously disadvantaged when it comes to this section. However, if you are preparing well for the exam and devoting time to reading, you can easily write a well-structured essay. You will have to spend time on writing essays.
Reading comprehension – It may be a hard section for some but improving on the areas mentioned above will keep you in good stead for this question type. Utilize SAT practice tests to understand questions and work hard.
Bolster your strengths – While you concentrate on your weaknesses, don’t ignore your strengths. If you are disadvantaged when it comes to English, make sure that you do full justice to your math questions. This will offset a weaker performance in the English questions.
Use study groups – Online study groups such as on this website are a great way to improve your learning. You can connect with peers who are facing similar learning challenges. Study group participants can learn and motivate others in the group.
TOEFL – If you have a good TOEFL score, you might get away with a slightly below-par performance on the SAT. Since TOEFL represents your ability to communicate well, it is a good representation of your English skills. Moreover, TOEFL is a much easier exam than the English sections of SAT. Some schools also exclusively consider TOEFL scores. See the requirements of your schools and decide your plan of action.