I’ll share a few tips which served me well through my SAT experience. My scores on the October 2015 exam were 770 reading, 780 math, and 800 writing, so I must be doing something right. I took the old format SAT, but these tips should apply to the new one as well.Take no prisoners with the essay. Decide what to write as soon as you read the prompt and have a solid outline of what you plan to say before you enter the testing room. You cannot be penalized for incorrect information, so the examples you use to support your argument don’t have to be 100% accurate. Come up with studies from legitimate sounding institutions or quotes from legitimate sounding authors as examples if you’re in a pinch. One of my good buddies mentioned the Nazis winning WWII as an example of the power of tenacity on his SAT, he got a perfect score on the essay and currently studies at the University of Oxford in England (Seriously don’t do this on your exam, it’s just an example). As long as these examples sound legitimate, you’re ok. Don’t waste a single sentence on a point that does not support your argument. Remember: the essay is NOT graded based on the quality of your language or the insightfulness of your examples. You need to be simple and ruthlessly answer the question by following your outline.Math isn’t a test of your quantitative brilliance—it’s a simple speed test. The level of math on the SAT is mostly algebra and simple geometry. If you had unlimited time, pretty much everyone would get every question right. With tight time limits though, the SAT really separates the wheat from the chaff. Push yourself to never waste a second and aim to finish every section five minutes early so you have time to review and go back to questions you were stuck on.Program formulas into your calculator beforehand. Do a quick google search, it’ll tell you how to input the quadratic formula and other nifty math shortcuts into your TI-84 or other graphing calculator. That might save you precious seconds on test day.For Reading Comprehension, read as many non fiction articles you can in the days and weeks before the exam. It’ll jog your analytical skills and help you parse through the factual texts you will encounter on the SAT. I personally recommend reading the Economist, the Atlantic, or the Wall Street Journal—anything that’s written at a higher than average level.Bring water and snacks that you enjoy. Bring WAY more pencils than you think you will need as well as a sturdy sharpener. Take a leak before the exam, just like your mother always said, because nothing can be more distracting than itching to use the restroom during the test. If you’re feeling sick, bring LOTS of tissues and cough drops—you won’t get a chance to refuel.Bonus SAT hack: SIGN UP FOR THE TEST EARLY. I know this isn’t related to the test itself, but it’s important. The later you wait to sign up, the better (read: closer) testing locations are taken by other students (you also have to pay a late sign up fee). I had to take one of my SAT Subject Tests two hours away from where I lived because I put off signing up online. There is no way you can perform at your best if you have to wake up at four in the morning to get to the testing place. Seriously, if you haven’t signed up yet, do it now.You don’t need tutors or expensive courses to do well on the SAT. Buy practice tests from the College Board, practice as much and as often as possible, trust your own abilities, and stay calm on test day. Best of luck to everyone taking the test—you’ll do great!