Getting a top score on the SAT in Walnut Creek is difficult, but not entirely impossible. And now that the maximum score on the new SAT has been updated to 1600, that could even be more achievable. Of course, the top score won’t be attained without months of practice and following a couple (or a few more) wise tips.

1. Motivation and desire are two of the most important things you will need in order push yourself into getting a perfect SAT score. Sure, you’re smart, but if you don’t have the motivation and the “fire” to pull yourself up to start carefully preparing, you won’t get the perfect 1600 score you want. Really, you will have to want it.

2. Make a list of the things you need to work on and improve. If you have trouble in grammar or algebra, you need to practice on those areas more diligently and patiently. You need to allot time for these problem areas in your practice plan. Not only will the extra time help you overcome those “stumbling blocks,” it will also help you feel less strained come test day.

3. Focusing all your time and energy on achieving your perfect score on those “problem” subjects may tend to make you easily forget the things that you already excel on. If you “torture” yourself by devoting too much on the harder stuff you may only feel more stressed-out on the test day.

4. Start practicing a number of months before the exam day. And on each day, devote 30 minutes to an hour to studying and practicing. Get the most out of every minute you can. Use high-quality practice materials and do a lot of practice tests to help you assess your capabilities.

5. Set short and easily attainable goals for every practice session, such as gunning for an 80% score on a short algebra quiz or trying to write a brief but well-constructed essay. Setting such short and achievable goals will also help you to avoid procrastinating.

6. Do remember to reward yourself when you achieve your goals! Treat yourself with an ice cream or a milkshake. Go to a bookstore and buy a book or something else you fancy. Have a short spin around town, or play your favorite video games. Rewarding yourself for every goal you meet will keep your motivation afloat.

7. Use pertinent materials and resources such as The Official SAT Study Guide, published by the College Board (the creators behind the SAT). However, you can also find other good resources from your local school or public library.

You can also browse through other reliable study materials online. Of course, there’s the official SAT website which you can get studying tips as well as try its test simulator to see how far your scores have improved.

8. If you really, really want to get that elusive 1600 score, ditch every distraction that gets in your way during your studying hours. Avoid checking your phone for texts and social media during your study session, in fact you may want to leave your phone in another room to avoid glancing at it every three or five minutes. Eliminate other temptations like watching YouTube videos or playing games (whether online or actual ones). Find a quiet place where you can study all by yourself — no television, not even music. When you’re under the hours for studying, try to stay focused on it until you’re through.

9. Hire tutors which have excellent study programs specialized and tailored to your certain studying needs and schedule. Apex College Prep and other companies provide private tutoring for several standardized tests like the SAT. You may also want to ask your school about the private tutoring companies they recommend.

10. Read, read, and read some more! It will help you stretch your vocabulary, comprehension, writing and analytic skills. Read a wide range of materials from classic literature to newspapers and magazines. It’s recommended that you should read subjects that are totally outside your interest or you don’t know much about. It’s also good if you write down your analysis after reading each long passage.

11. During the test, try not to let that “perfect 1600” inside your head. Thinking about it too much will make you feel pressured and nervous, which will then lead you to make mistakes. You cannot afford to make mistakes on the test day!

12. Have a positive mindset and attitude. It’s ok if you make a mistake or two, just don’t brood on them too much — that will lead to undue stress. Instead, translate those frustrations into opportunities to improve yourself.

Out of the millions of test-takers throughout the recent years, there are only about 300 who have gotten the highest SAT score possible. Indeed, the numbers of test-takers who have achieved the perfect score are very rare. Gunning for the perfect score for the SAT in Walnut Creek can be an uphill battle, but if you have fully prepared, then achieving it won’t be impossible. Even if you don’t get 1600 as your score, you’ll likely score higher than if you hadn’t prepared at all.