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Creating a Study Schedule

The most crucial part of doing well on the SAT is thorough preparation. After all, you don’t want to suddenly realize the week before the test that you haven’t started studying. To avoid this, it is useful to create a study schedule, so that you can be sure you’re doing the right amount of preparation and you’re ready for each part of the SAT.

When you’re making your study plan (whether on a laptop, on a whiteboard, or on paper), keep these tips in mind.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead

The SAT requires some dedication over a period of time, in order to build up your skills. So, it’s important to start preparation early. Once you figure out when your test date is, try to begin studying at least 3 months before. This will give you enough time to work on everything you need to. Doing your preparation bit by bit over the 3 months, rather than cramming all of it into a few weeks, will also reduce your stress much more in the long run.

Tip #2: Practice Regularly

If you’re starting your SAT prep early, then there’s no need to do it every single day – this will only bore you. However, it is helpful to stick to a regular pattern of doing SAT practice, for at least 1.5 hours per week. Around 3-4 practice sessions each week would probably be ideal, but feel free to make a schedule that suits to your time commitments.

Tip #3: Make Time for Full-Length Tests

I cannot stress the importance of doing full-length tests enough. Spending 3 hours (and 50 minutes, with essay) on one practice SAT may seem like a lot, but it is worthwhile. When you’re designing your schedule, make sure you block out enough amounts of time to do these practice tests, and aim to finish as many as you can over a period of time.

Tip #4: Make Your Schedule Specific

 Once you’ve finished making your schedule, you should have certain days of the week that you’ve allotted for SAT prep, as well as full-length tests. Now go one step further: specify which component you are going to focus on for each practice session, whether it’s Reading, Writing, Math (Calculator), Math (Non-Calculator), or the essay. By doing this, you ensure that you are spending enough time on each part of the SAT. Schedule a little more time for the components that you find more difficult, so that you can work on improving your weaker areas.


About the Author

The author Rithana Srikanth, scored 1560/1600 on the SAT. She is an Ivy Aspire student.