### Study with purpose, and set incremental goals.

You don't need to move mountains to significantly increase your score; you just need to focus on weak areas, a few at a time, and make them strengths. This entire site is dedicated to the specifics of doing just that, but I wanted to take a bird's eye view today and point out that in general, you can improve your overall score by about 100 points simply by making one fewer mistake per section than you made last time (not counting the essay, of course). Seriously.

Say your raw scores on Test 2 in the Blue Book looked like this:

CR: 53
M: 43
W: 42

That'd give you 650's across the board (assuming an 8 essay). Now say you made one fewer multiple choice error in the 3 reading, 3 math, and 2 writing sections. That's going to add points directly because of the correct answers, and it's also going to erase penalties to the tune of 0.25 per answer.

CR: 53 + 3 + 0.75
M: 43 + 3 + 0.75
W: 42 + 2 + 0.50

Your new raw scores round up, so now they look like this:

CR: 57
M: 47
W: 45

Your score just went from 650 + 650 + 650 = 1950 to 690 + 690 + 690 = 2070. Get some.

Of course, the actual improvement you'll see could vary a bit based on where you're starting, but 100 points is a pretty good estimate for this kind of raw score improvement.

What does this mean for you? It means that if you can identify few weaknesses that appear often on the SAT. Say you struggle with dangling modifiers, main idea questions, and questions that can be solved by plugging in. If you use focused practice on those kinds of questions until you're a pro, you can see a big improvement, even if it's late in the game.