sat study plan

SAT Study Plan (From a 1580 Scorer)

SAT study plan

The SAT is a challenging exam, but if you have a SAT study plan then it’s not unbeatable. If you’re smart about how you approach the test and how you study for it, you can achieve your dream score (and get into your dream school). This article will help you develop a study plan that will best fit your needs and schedule so that when test day comes around, there won’t be any surprises.

Why should I make a study plan to help me stay on track for SAT test day?

  • Creating a SAT study plan will help you hold yourself accountable to studying
  • Makes sure you are familiar with the topics you need to study.
  • Makes sure you have enough time to study.
  • Makes sure you know what you need to study before tackling your practice tests in this section of our guide!

sat study plan

Sign up for the SAT and look through the test specifications to find out what topics you’ll need to study.

First, choose a date to sign up for the SAT. You can sign up for the SAT on collegeboard.org or through your school if they have an agreement with The College Board to offer it (which many public schools do). Once you’re registered, take some time to look through the test specifications and find out what topics you feel you need to study so that you can prepare accordingly. Next, make sure that when taking practice tests (and official ones too), make sure they are timed tests and give yourself plenty of time so that you don’t run out of room before finishing each section. You can find official practice tests on Reddit here. It will also help if you can get familiar with how things work before taking an official practice exam so that when test day comes around everything will go smoothly! Get familiar with the SAT and practice on your own before taking an official practice exam. Use this guide as a way to create a personalized SAT study plan.

3 months before the SAT

I suggest starting to study 3 months before the SAT. You will need that much time if you need to improve your score in the SAT reading section. SAT reading is not something that you can improve on in a short time span. You will need a lot of constant reading for at least three months in order to better your comprehension of passages. I personally just did SAT reading sections over and over during the summer which helped boost my reading score by 50 points. You should also read my guide where I discuss SAT reading tips here. In this guide, I also discuss the types of questions that occur in the writing and language section and how to answer them. In that guide I also include some traps that the reading section has that you should stay away from them. One of the traps is that you shouldn’t choose an answer that sounds too opinionated.

 

2 months before the SAT

The math section is a lot easier and faster to prepare for and do well in because essentially all you need to do to score well in the SAT math section is to recognize the patterns of questions that occur during the practice tests and then memorize formulas for those specific types of questions. therefore, preparing for the SAT will be easy for you with this guide because I personally took over 50 practice tests to find out the patterns in the SAT math section. I then put these patterns on a cheat sheet here:

 

Over the course of the 1.5 months before the SAT start memorizing the formulas on the cheat sheet above. At first do real past SAT math practice sections while having the formula sheet in front of you which will help you get better acquainted with the questions and will help you understand how the formulas I wrote are used in the questions.

1 month before the SAT

Take full length practice tests a couple times a week to improve your speed at the SAT. The SAT is timed and you are not allowed to go back to previous sections of the SAT after you finish one section. Granted, students still go back to other sections all the time when the proctor isn’t looking, but it is still good to try to improve your speed at the SAT so that you aren’t scrambling for time in general.

 

2 days before the SAT

2 days before the SAT come back to this blog post to refresh your memory on the following tips:

The SAT has a section 5 section which your proctor will ask you to do. If you are taking the SAT at your school for free then there is no section 5 section, but you will get a section 5 section if you paid to take the SAT at a different location than your school. Students who want to gain an advantage use the section 5 section to work on previous problems, even though they aren’t supposed to.

For both math and reading, the SAT likes to trick you so they tend to put the wrong answers higher on the A, B, C, D multiple choice scale, like wrong answers tend to be A. To combat this, look at the answers from bottom to up, from D to A.

What to eat before the SAT: Dark chocolate boosts memory, coffee increases concentration.

 

1 day before the SAT: Relax!

 

Don’t cram, do a little bit each day | SAT Study Plan

Don’t cram. Just don’t do it. If you try to learn everything in one day, you’re not going to retain anything. Instead, focus on what you need to know and don’t get overwhelmed by all of the things you could possibly have time for.

Conclusion

Hopefully,  this post has given you some ideas on how to prepare for the SAT. Remember, the best way to prepare is by doing a little bit each day so that when test day comes, you’re ready to ace it!

 

Other resources:

My post on SAT reading tips.

My post on SAT math tips.

My post on how to get a perfect score on the SAT.

My post on Ivy League SAT scores.

My post on what year do you take SATs.

My post on the best PSAT prep book.

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