Recently, we’ve been talking a lot on everything about the SAT—with good reason, too! As of late, the College Board has canceled the April, May, and June administrations of the SAT due to the COVID-19 update in academic calendars across the nation.
If you’re a rising high school senior or rising high school junior, this period of uncertainty and crisis is disheartening. Many of you are probably wondering when the next SAT will be and stressed about continuing to prepare with no deadline in sight.
As of May 2020, the next SAT administration takes place on August 29th. This gives you four months to study for the SAT. Coincidentally, this is around the optimal amount of time that the College Board suggests you study for the SAT. In fact, a mere 20 hours of studying will improve your aggregate SAT score by 115 points!
Here’s what the College Board has to say about future administrations of the SAT and when registrations will begin:
If it’s safe from a public health standpoint, we’ll provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new administration on September 26 and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5.
Students can register for these administrations starting in May. We’ll contact students directly during the week of May 26 to provide an exact date. Eligible students can register with a fee waiver.
For those living abroad, the College Board is considering an additional international administration of the SAT. If this applies to you, check here for COVID-19 SAT updates.
We want to help you during this difficult time period. We know that staying motivated to study for a test which is months away (even one you have already studied for!) can be incredibly grueling.
To make your lives easier, we have crafted this master post of all the resources, guides, and tips and tricks you will need to prepare for the SAT.
Also Read: COVID-19 Updates on SAT
1. Is the SAT the best test for you?
There are two college readiness tests that have equal significance among colleges in the US—the SAT and the ACT. Many students believe that taking both tests optimize their chances of getting a better score to put on college applications. This cannot be further from the truth. Can you imagine splitting your attention in two and trying to score well in both of them? We can feel your stress levels from here. Moreover, taking both tests may result in a mediocre score in both, hurting your college applications.
Also Read: SAT vs ACT: How to choose the right test
As a result, we suggest you get familiar with both tests before you proceed any further. You may find that the ACT is better suited for your abilities. Remember, colleges consider both tests as equal measures of the applicant’s academic aptitude and college readiness. To ensure you are on the right track, go ahead and check which test is right for you right now.
2. How Should You Study?
Okay, so what now? You’ve decided that the SAT is the right test for you but you are not sure how to go about it. Don’t worry, this is completely normal! No student has built-in automatic software that switches on when they decide to study for the SAT. Believe it or not, the SAT is not that difficult content-wise. It tests the basics of subjects that you learn in high school. By the end of your sophomore year, you already know almost all of the topics the test tests you on. A high score on the SAT is truly the result of smart planning and hard work.
This is why we suggest that motivated, hardworking students self-study the SAT. Here’s a comprehensive guide on self-studying the SAT. Check it out to see if self-studying is an option for you.
3. What are the Alternatives to Self-Studying?
If self-studying looks to be a difficult task for you, do not fret! Congratulate yourself on prioritizing your scoring ability instead of being too stubborn to ask for help. Most students do opt for SAT tutoring programs, either in group settings or individual lessons. These tutors can be great in many ways. A good SAT tutor can personalize your studying to ensure that you score the highest possible score on the SAT.
How do you know whether the tutoring program or private tutor will work for you? Good question! You will need to ask five essential questions. Check this guide on choosing the best SAT tutor for you.
4. How Should You Plan Out Your Studying?
Effective studying begins with a tentative study plan that maps out how you will study in the coming months. Before you begin studying, you will need to ascertain how much time you can commit to studying the SAT each week. Be realistic! You may not be able to study for 4 hours straight on a Saturday but you may be able to devote 40 minutes every day to SAT prep.
Of course, each student will need to prioritize different topics, question-types, and sections. We cannot give you the perfect SAT study plan. We can, however, give you the tips and tricks involved in creating one for yourself. Make sure you go through this essential guide and start mapping out your studying.
5. What are the Best SAT Prep Books?
Again, this is subjective to the needs of the student. In truth, there is no best SAT prep book for a student to study from. Each of the SAT prep books out there has their strengths and weaknesses. This means certain books will work better for certain students over others.
As you will see in this guide, a combination of the mentioned SAT prep books can be a winning combination for you. Read through our thorough analyses of the best SAT prep books out there and choose the most effective combination for you. Trust us, our guide makes this easy!
6. How Can You Optimize Your Score?
As you progress through your study plan, you may hit a block in increasing your score on the SAT after a certain threshold. There is no reason to be concerned. For some students, once they start consistently scoring 600+ or 700+ on a section, it becomes harder for them to increase their scores beyond that point. This is because there are particular nuances that the student may need to learn to beat specific question types on the test.
To learn those nuances, you must dedicate time to learning test-taking strategies that will help you break through that point block. Here are the tips and strategies to follow to ace your SAT preparation.
7. How Can You Score Higher in the Reading Section?
Scoring well in all the other sections but need some more help in the Evidence-Based Reading portion of the exam? We’ve outlined six ways you can boost your raw score in the Evidence-Based Reading section for a higher composite score.
Seriously, getting one more question correct on this section could give you that 20-point increase in your total score that you’ve been looking for. Check out 6 Ways to Boost Your Reading Score here.
8. How Can You Score Higher in the Writing Section?
The writing section is even more nuanced and stingy with points than the reading section. Luckily, it is easier to score higher on. The Writing portion of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section is worth 400 points but its questions test specific grammatical and punctuation topics that are easy to formulize.
Want the formula for that higher writing raw score? Read through our How to Boost Your SAT Writing Score guide here.
9. How Can You Ace the Math Section?
Wouldn’t a perfect 800 in the Math section be amazing? It’s not as much of a dream score as you’d think it to be. Anyone can score a perfect score in the Math section. All they need to do is learn eight important tips alongside the concepts tested.
Find the 8 Amazing Tips to Ace the SAT Math Section here!
Are you looking to self-study SAT 2020 with expert guidance to ace your SAT preparation? Check out our 12-week online summer SAT program and subscribe to email updates to be the first one to know when the program launches.
In this program, you will get the motivation and guidance you need to score high on the SAT, your way. In summary, the program is:
- Curated by top SAT scorers
- 200+ score increase guaranteed
- Student-customized lesson plans
- 80 hours of learning with 12 high-quality mocks
We hope you stay positive during these trying times. Take advantage of this extra time and score well on your SAT exams. Check back here for more SAT resources and guides curated for you!
Are you looking for an online SAT expert to guide you on your preparation for 2020 SAT and help you achieve your dream score? Check out our online SAT tutors here