SAT Prep: When To Start…How To Study

It’s no secret that the SAT is a daunting exam. Not only is it difficult, but the results can impact your college admissions, scholarship opportunities, and, in some cases, even job prospects. While having all the time in the world to prepare would be great, this isn’t practical. Juniors and Seniors in high school are busy! That’s why it’s important to understand the ideal time to start studying and the best ways to do it. Here are some of the top tips you need to know. 

Start Preparing Early

When it comes to preparation time, the longer you have, the better. Ideally, though, the College Board (the organization that created the SAT) recommends giving yourself at least two to three months of study time. This will allow you to spread out your study sessions and avoid cramming. 

Starting to study earlier will make you more confident when you take the exam. Studies also show that an early start improves the chances that you’ll score better than you would if you waited until the last minute. 

Research the SAT – It’s a great idea to spend some time researching the SAT itself. You’ll want to understand the topics the exam covers, rules you’ll need to follow while taking it, and how the exam is scored. You’ll feel far more confident taking the SAT if you understand as much as you can about how it works.

Take an Official Practice Exam – Next, take an official practice exam. This will give you a good baseline so you can see where you’re starting from. Take this test under the same conditions as the real test, including using a quiet, well-lit room and sticking to the official time limits.  

Assess the Tools You’ll  Use -The best system for studying for the SAT will depend on your learning style and how far away you are from your goal score. Some options might include group classes, one-on-one tutoring, an online prep program, or a combination of methods. The further away you are from your goal score, the more intense of a study method you’ll want to choose. 

Create a Study Schedule -You’ll do best if you commit to regular study sessions that last between 30 minutes and 3 hours. Choose a schedule you’re comfortable with, but be careful of letting distractions get in the way. Once you’ve built out your schedule, make sure you stick with it. 

Test, Assess, and Repeat – Every couple of weeks, take another practice test and assess your progress. Pay attention to areas where you’re improving, where you’re not making progress, and where you’re backsliding. Adjust your study focus accordingly. Then, keep repeating this process every couple of weeks until test day.

Remain Calm  – Most importantly, make sure you stay calm. Stressing yourself out isn’t going to help improve your scores. Study hard, then give yourself a break a day or two before your exam. Make sure you get plenty of rest at least three nights before test day. The morning of your exam, make sure you eat a good breakfast. Then, take a deep breath and do your best. 

To get started with your test prep tutoring plan, contact A+ Tutoring Service at 732-566-6086 or contact us online with your questions. 

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