The SAT is an extremely important test for those planning to attend college. It’s definitely not one to neglect or ignore until the last minute. Preparing for the exam is the only way to make sure you’re doing your best on test day. Well, that’s all well and good, but how exactly do you study? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect, or else overloaded by information from a number of different sources all claiming to have the answer to every one of your testing woes.
Read on for my very best suggestions on how to study for the SAT, based on my extensive experience as a tutor. I’ll cover each step you need to take to improve your score, from finding the best SAT practice tests to setting a goal to fine-tuning your section strategies. After reading this article, you’ll know exactly how to prepare for the SAT.
The 3 Guiding Principles of SAT Prep
While we’ve got plenty of specific advice on how to study for the SAT, there are also some more general concepts
#1: Personalize Your Program
It’s crucial that you individualize any plan to fit your needs. We might be the experts on the SAT, but you’re the expert on you. All the suggestions in this guide should be looked at with the understanding that you can tweak them to fit what you, individually, need. If, for example, you need to study three times a day for a shorter period of time rather than knocking it all out in one chunk in the evening, that’s fine. If the opposite is true for you, that’s fine, too. Do what will work best for you.
#2: Leave Plenty of Time to Study
If you’re looking for an improvement of 100 points or thereabouts, three months is a good amount of time. If you need something significantly more substantial, though, you might want to stretch that timeline out to six months. This means you should have a good idea of your goal at least six months before the SAT. This ensures you’ll have time to take appropriate action, even if that action is letting it rest for three months.
#3: Do What You Can With What You Have
It’s always better to do something than it is to do nothing. For instance, if you don’t have the aforementioned three to six months, use what you do have to your best advantage. If you simply can’t take a practice exam in one sitting without getting interrupted, take it in several sittings. Not having ideal circumstances is not an excuse to sit on your hands and do nothing.