How long should I prepare for the SAT?
Here’s our yearly advice to SAT candidates which never go wrong. The preparation time needed would depend on this top 3 factors:
Your starting score
Whether you’re on school break or not
How much time you can dedicate to SAT prep per week
Step 1 – Focus on the syllabus, concepts & strategies
Typically students need anywhere between 3-6 months to be well-prepared for the SAT. The first month or so should be spent focusing on covering the SAT syllabus, concepts and strategies.
SAT Weekday Intensive Course
SAT Weekend Group Course
Step 2 – Take full-length SAT tests
Once done, you should move onto doing full-length SAT tests under timed conditions to acclimatize yourself with the actual test. This is also the time to fine-tune your preparation by focusing on specific topics/sections where you’re still getting questions wrong, or working on effective time management.
We know how frustrating it is to sit for a 4-hour test, and we feel your pain. The only way to progress and build your stamina though, is by powering through and attempting several of these. As soon as you end your test, Prep Zone Academy sends you a score report with areas of improvement for students to focus on. Please ensure though that you are practicing with proper direction and purpose; doing daily tests without addressing your mistakes and weaknesses from previous tests isn’t a very effective approach to preparation.
SAT Practice Tests at Prep Zone Academy (Schedule anytime)
SAT Practice & Review Sessions leading up to SAT test dates
How About College Applications?
Taking the SAT is crucial, but do remember to keep track of your college application deadlines and work backwards accordingly. Ideally, a good time to attempt the SAT for the first time is in the middle of your junior year (IB year 1 for our international school students and JC 1 for the local students). Keep in mind that the SAT is only offered 4 times a year now, so make sure you have enough time for a re-take if needed. This way you don’t need to worry about your SAT tests in your senior year (Grade 12) and can focus on school final exams and college applications instead. Getting the SAT out of the way in Grade 11 also ensures you have time and test dates available for the SAT Subject tests in Grade 12. Since they mostly test topics taught in high school, it’s better to sit for them once they’re covered in school.
Remember, as crucial as it is, the SAT is only one component of your college application. Colleges would be taking into account your school grades, co-curricular activities, leadership roles, volunteer work, references, and application essays when they consider your profile for admission.
Knowing that the test is offered several times does not suggest that you should delay your application process. Don’t be complacent. Plan early & get going!
The first step would be to come up with a preparation plan and timeline for your SAT. The good news – Prep Zone Academy™ has a host of free tools you can utilize to prepare for your SAT.
For new, first-time candidates, we recommend taking the SAT diagnostic test to get an understanding of the test format and difficulty level, and for us to better gauge your current strengths & weaknesses. Once done, we’ll generate your score report and give you a pretty thorough review of your strong and weak dimensions across the different sections. After that, you can sit down with one of our course managers to discuss your performance, and get advice on how to improve your score to a competitive level.
For students who have already taken the actual SAT or a mock test before, we can have you dive right into preparation! Feel free to get in touch to know how we can help, and also check out our SAT courses or contact us for a personalised schedule which fits your needs.