Recently, we’ve been talking a lot on everything about the SAT—with good reason, too! For most of you, the school year has come to an end and you have had a week or so of free time to do whatever you desire. For those of you who are still wrapping up the school year, the summer is still an opportune time to achieve your goals (we see you, Fremont CA, and New York, hang in there!).
If you’re a rising high school senior or rising high school junior, the summer is a great time to utilize some of that free time for something productive. Don’t get us wrong! We still want you to go on that vacation, hang out with your friends, and hit up those summer beach bashes. However, we believe that your journey to college will be immensely improved and successful if you carve out some of the summers to dedicate to the SAT.
As of June 2019, the next SAT administration takes place on August 24th. This gives you a near three months to study for the SAT. Coincidentally, this is 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!
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.
1. Is the SAT the best test for you?
Also Read: SAT vs ACT: How to choose the right test
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.
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.
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 summer SAT study plan. We can, however, give you the tips and tricks involved in creating an effective summer SAT study plan for you. Peruse 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 implement to ace your SAT preparation.
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.