The dreaded SAT. With the time people spend talking about the SAT and how important this test will be for you, the test can seem a little intimidating. While the test is an important step in your educational career, it doesn’t have to be the stressful event most students make it out to be. If you give yourself ample time to prepare and study the test will become more manageable and your desired test scores will be a lot easier to achieve.
- Jump in with both feet. The first step you can take is to try your hand at a practice test cold. Before you begin studying or prepping yourself for the SAT, take a practice test. The results will show you your natural strengths and weakness. Obviously you’ll still want to study after taking the practice test – now you’ll just have a starting point when creating your study plan.
- Do not procrastinate. Start studying months before your actual test date. This is not just another test or midterm you’ve taken before. Cramming the week, or night, before will not work like it may have in the past. Your scores will most definitely be adversely affected if you do not give yourself plenty of time to prep and study.
- Talk to others. Talk to some older friends or family members who have taken the test before – the more recent, the better – and see if they can offer any advice, study tips, strategies, etc.
- Utilize SAT study materials. There are countless SAT study materials that will introduce you to the test, give you a feel for the subject matter, let you familiarize yourself with the questions, and even offer practice tests. Check out your local bookstore or public library to see what you can find.
- Take practice exams. When you take practice tests, treat them as if they were the actual test. Simulate test day conditions as well as you can – no music, no phone, no TV. Time yourself so when test day approaches you won’t feel pressured by the timer.
- Study a little each day. Find ways to incorporate studying into your daily routine. Sign up for daily emails from www.sat.collegeboard.org and you’ll receive a question daily to test yourself. Download some apps that will let you get in a few minutes of studying whenever you have a few free moments.
- Accountability. Find someone who will promise to help keep you motivated – a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, parent or tutor. You’ll have times when you want to slack off, so it’s important to have someone who will encourage you to keep working.
- Take care of yourself. Your health is just as important as studying. In the weeks leading up to the test, make sure you are taking good care of yourself. Eat well and get plenty of rest. You can study nonstop, but if you end up sick and feeling awful on test day, your scores will most likely reflect how you feel.
Studying for the SAT doesn’t have to be the stressful, all-consuming event it may seem like at first. With smart, efficient studying, you can study for the SAT and still have plenty of time for other activities.
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