Time for the SAT? How Do You Prep?

The SAT is a college admissions standardized test that is developed and published by the College Board. Recently, the SAT has been adjusted to better fit high school curriculum so that it better measures a student's readiness to advance to college. The SAT is a three-hour long test, and this time increases by fifty minutes if the essay portion is also taken. To take the test, the student must pay $45 or $57 if the essay portion is taken. Of course, this price increases with late fees.

A student can score anywhere from 400 to 1600 on the test, and it, or the ACT, is required for admission to most colleges. Because of the weight the exam carries, many students experience additional stress in preparing for the test. With the proper time set for preparation and the proper techniques, success will be easily obtained when a student takes the SAT.

The 5 Steps to Success in Preparing for the SAT

  1. Choose How Long to Study
  2. Set a Score Goal
  3. Take a Practice Test
  4. Define Areas of Improvement and Schedule
  5. Take Another Practice Test and Repeat

The Steps Explained

Starting to study for the SAT can be a daunting task, but the first step to ensuring success is putting aside some time that will be devoted only to studying for this test. The minimum amount of time that should be spent on the SAT is a minimum of ten hours total, but those who devote more time are likely to receive a better score. The ten hours will allow a little bit of review for all the important material and development of vocabulary.

People who want to perform much better than others should plan to spend forty hours studying, and the most devoted will put in as much as one-hundred hours-worth of study. This amount of time will allow a proper review of all the material. It will also allow for more practice tests, and there will be ample time to discover and improve upon the areas that are deficient. Ultimately, the amount of time spent preparing for the SAT is dependent on motivation, availability, and time before the test.

After a specific study time has been set, the next step is to set a score goal. By aiming for a certain score, it will be easier to motivate oneself to study more in order to achieve that goal. The goal should be based on the scores needed to get into the colleges and universities of choice. Typically, the score goal should be greater than or equal to the highest score required to get into a college or university. This ensures that the required score is met for all schools on the list.

After setting the score goal, taking a practice test is the next step. By taking a practice test, one will be able to have a better understanding of how the test works. The results of the practice test will also highlight strengths and weaknesses. Without doing this, taking the SAT would be like driving blindfolded. The initial practice test sets the tone for the rest of the studying period and the test itself.

Review the results of the practice test and define the strengths and weaknesses. Use these to set a schedule of study, devoting most of the time to the weaknesses. The schedule should be followed strictly. This step ensures that what needs studied the most gets studied. The schedule also serves as a motivator. It allows one to see that they are on track toward making the improvements they need to succeed.

After, take another practice test. This would ideally be taken a few weeks prior to the actual test to allow for schedule rearrangement to address remaining weaknesses. It also ensures that one is familiar with the test. Once that is complete, repeat the studying process until the test day.

By following these steps, a student will be ensuring that they will get an excellent score. If the SAT has been taken before, then a student may even see an improvement on the score he or she already had. Success is just a few steps away.

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