How to Study for the SAT ~ If you plan on going to university, studying for the SAT should be among your top priorities.
A Must-Read: How to Improve Your SAT Score
Combined with a good academic track record, a high SAT score can help gain you admittance to even the best of colleges. This is why it is important to know how to study for the SAT.
Look at it this way. A good SAT score opens doors and can help differentiate you from other high academic achievers.
Not all schools have similar grading scales—this proves especially true when comparing schools from different states.
For this reason, the SAT provides colleges and universities a unique way to compare student performance across the board.
Without a good SAT score, you may find that your secondary education choices are limited. Because of this, it’s important that you take the time to properly study for the SAT.
Knowing the proper study method is critical. Getting a good SAT score depends on your ability to study and really understand the test.
Because the SAT is different than tests you may typically take in school, make sure that you’re comfortable with its format.
You’ll also want to be familiar with the types of questions asked and the content covered.
Don’t know where to start? No problem! Check out our guide below to learn everything you need to know about how to study for the SAT.
Consider Getting a Tutor
One of the most powerful ways to increase your SAT score is to get a certified SAT tutor. These individuals can typically be found in SAT prep classes.
Be aware, however, that acquiring a tutor may not be in every student’s budget.
These classes can be quite expensive, but if you or your parents can afford them, they make a great investment.
These weekly classes give you a one-of-a-kind insight into the SAT and are taught by those extremely familiar with the exam.
Usually, the information you learn in these courses is similar to the content you’ll learn in a review book.
What really sets them apart is the fact that you’ll have access to a qualified tutor who can give you all-important feedback on your work.
This feedback is important for those who are looking to take the exam—especially those taking it for the first time.
Because you won’t have real experience with the test yet, you can strengthen your score by learning from those who know the test best.
You’ll find tips and secrets about how to read the exam’s questions and how to manage your time for the best score possible.
Some students find that their scores increase by hundreds of points by using SAT tutors. If big-name schools and prep courses aren’t in your budget, don’t worry.
Your local high school may offer SAT prep courses for those interested. If not, you may be able to find a teacher willing to provide extra assistance if requested.
If worst comes to worst, you may consider being tutored by someone else you know who has taken the test and done well.
While their advice may not be as good as a qualified professional, you can still get valuable insight that can raise your score.
If no tutor is available, don’t lose hope. There are still several study options that you can use to boost your SAT score.
Get an SAT Review Book
The most common of which is to get an SAT review book. Typically these books, such as The Princeton Review, teach much the same content that you would find in their corresponding SAT prep courses.
Even better, they come at a much lower price. Though you’ll be missing out on the feedback you get from having a tutor, you can still absorb critical information about the exam.
Just be aware that you’re going to have to make a concentrated effort to study on your own.
This may prove quite beneficial for those who are visual learners, as the book will be in front of you.
This offers another important benefit in that you can take your studies with you.
If you feel as if there’s something you need to brush up on, you can read and learn it for yourself no matter where you are.
This means that you don’t have to wait for a once-a-week class to get your answers.
You’ll also be able to read and study it as much as you want. This provides you with the opportunity to get extremely familiar with the exam.
Because these books will show you step-by-step on how to solve common problems, you can be sure that you’re not missing out on your SAT education.
You also learn key tips and tricks that can help you study better.
Perhaps best of all is that you’ll be able to use corresponding practice tests to get familiar with taking the test.
Because the book will use a fully-simulated practice test, you can do a few test runs and even check your answers before taking the real deal.
Not only does this help ensure that you have a mastery of the content and let you practice what you miss, but it also lets you get your test-taking jitters out.
This means that you can feel more relaxed and comfortable on the day of the exam—this will help you better manage your time and organize your thoughts to obtain a better score.
Make Time to Study
Even the best of approaches won’t mean much if you don’t take time to study.
This means that you’re going to have to study consistently at a set time every day. It’s important that you stick to a set schedule so that you can achieve the best results possible.
Without a schedule and routine studying, you’re likely to forget the information that you have learned.
The goal is to study so much that you know the material like the back of your hand—this means studying even when you don’t think you have to.
The best way to do this is to pencil in time on your schedule to study for the SAT every day.
Make sure that you do it before you’re too tired to study. Also, you’ll want to combine comprehensive reviews with new content so that you’re staying up-to-date on all your studies.
In this way, you won’t be out of practice when it’s time to take the test.
You’ll be in such a good zone already that you won’t mind having to take the real deal—and you’ll be able to keep your jitters to a minimum.
Because you’ll be so familiar with the content, you’ll be better able to confidently answer questions on the exam.
Doing this, however, requires discipline. Plans are easy to make, but they’re not so easy to follow.
For this reason, be sure that you’re following a set routine even on days that you don’t feel like it.
In doing so, you’ll develop the ability to excel at the test no matter your situation on test day.
Consider Taking the Test Twice
You’ll want to be careful about taking the SAT too many times—it looks bad. That being said, you’ll likely want to take it twice.
Chances are that your first score isn’t going to be your highest. And let’s face it: practice beforehand can be a great way to get familiar with the test.
The best way, however, will be to take the real deal. There’s nothing that can quite replicate the feelings you’ll have on test day.
And no matter how confident you are, you can’t really imagine what your state of mind will be when it’s time to take the real exam.
That being said, by taking the test twice, you’ll be able to come in with better expectations the second time. You’ll also be able to see where you need to improve.
The best part of all is that you don’t have to report all of your SAT scores to the university.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you can take the test as many times as you want. Keep in mind that some universities will require you to report all your test scores.
For this reason, you’ll want to avoid taking the test too many times, as this will damage your appearance.
Also, if you score exceptionally well the first time, you may want to have second thoughts about taking it again.
Unless you’re confident that you can get an even better score—or if you need one for the University of your choice—you might get a lower score.
If you apply to a university that requires you to submit all your SAT scores, this can make you look worse in the eyes of the admissions office.
Practice Alone and with Friends
Another effective way to study for the SAT is to vary your study methods. Make sure that you’re taking the time to study alone and with friends.
This can help you and your friends better understand confusing parts, while still allowing you to learn at your own pace.
This means that you should make time to study while you’re alone and schedule a time to study with friends.
You may find it more beneficial to study with an entire group so that you can have time to work through difficult problems.
Additionally, you may find that some of your friends understand the content that confuses you.
If this is the case, you’ll be able to build off their understanding to better your own score.
Of course, the reverse of this can also prove true. It may be that you have to assist your friends in answering certain types of questions.
But don’t worry—helping them understand it won’t detract from your studying time. Often, teaching others proves one of the Best Way to Study for the SAT.
Be sure to set a study routine—even if you’re studying with a group. Make sure that you stay committed and meet often.
Common group morale can help boost your confidence and reinforce the importance of the test for you.
Failing to keep consistent group study appointments will do more than hurt your studies.
By collectively failing to take your studies seriously, it can foster an attitude that doesn’t value the importance of the test.
In this case, you may find that it’s more than your knowledge that is lacking test day.
Don’t Get Too Comfortable
Which leads us to the final point.
Make sure that you don’t get too comfortable when studying for the SAT. You can never know too much.
Make sure that you don’t stop studying—even if you think that you know everything.
There’s always room for improvement, and you’re going to want to get as high a score as possible. That’s why you should always be on the go.
This means that once you finish one book, it’s time to start another. Make sure that you’re never letting your studies hit a dead end. If you feel as if you’re about to burnout, consider changing your study methods.
If you’ve been studying alone, for example, start studying in a group. Or, if you’ve been using books to study, attempt to find other methods.
You may go online and take quizzes, for instance, or talk to a teacher. Just make sure that the websites you access are official.
Consider checking out the College Board’s official site for the most reliable information.
By keeping things fresh, you’ll be able to increase your knowledge and keep your enthusiasm as you move into test day. In this way, you can enjoy the highest score possible.
The Bottom Line
For this reason, it’s critical that you maximize your score. Getting a good SAT score has important implications in regard to your hunt for the perfect university.
Consider the Best Way to Study for the SAT methods possible. By keeping the articles’ tips in mind, you can be on your way to maximizing your SAT score.
Carefully follow the outlined tips to start enjoying better results and more college opportunities. So what are you waiting for? There’s no better time to study than now!