How to prepare for SAT?

Asked by Yashaswini over 1 year ago

Answers 1
Nipun Mahajan

Nipun Mahajan

Corporate Finance Analyst at INVESTEC CAPITAL SERVICES (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED

There are a variety of methods that students use when preparing for the SAT. We provide pros and cons to the main ones here. Note that you may use some combination of the options laid out below.

Self-Prep

Many students prep for the SAT mostly on their own, with the help of prep books, online resources, mobile apps, and so on.

Pros

You have control over exactly what and when you study. This is great if you have a good idea of exactly what you need to work on, because you can easily tailor your studying program to your own needs.

This is the cheapest option out there, especially if you use free resources and get prep materials from the library!

Cons

It can be hard to stay motivated. This is why it’s important to have someone else know when you plan to study so they can help hold you accountable.

It can be a lot of work! You need to figure out your own weaknesses, track down resources, and so on. So you have to be willing to put some extra investment into planning.

If you have a lot of improvement to make, it may be hard for you to self-diagnose your own weaknesses. Or even if you know that you’re, say, very weak on math, you may not know exactly where to begin or how to attack the situation. Sometimes guidance is necessary!


Prep Course

Twenty students in a high-school classroom after hours, listening to an SAT prep teacher drone on about conjunctions. Good prep method or bad one? 

Pros

The schedule of the class forces you to stay on track with the pace the class sets, which could be good if you have trouble staying motivated.

Cons

There’s not much personalization to your own needs and pace. For the most part, you’ll need to proceed with the class, whether you know the material being covered like the back of your hand or you’re completely lost.

The quality of the teacher also makes a huge difference here. A teacher who is invested in everyone’s experience and tries to adjust curriculum to meet class needs can help you improve your score. A bad teacher may just stand in front of the class reading vocab word definitions for two hours. And unfortunately, you have basically no control and no way of knowing if you’ll get a good teacher or bad one when you sign up for the class.

Test prep courses are expensive! It can be more expensive than hiring a private tutor for a limited number of hours, which may frankly be more worth your money.


Online Program

The online prep program is a relatively new innovation in how to prepare for the SAT. But is it legit?

Pros

A good online prep program can be a great investment:

It will accurately diagnose your strengths and weaknesses and assign lessons and practice problems based on those strengths and weaknesses.

Additionally, a good program will help you create a study plan and track your progress.

It will also have high-quality, clear content review and practice questions.

It will even teach you the best SAT strategy!

Here at PrepScholar, we have a comprehensive online SAT prep program that is customized to your needs.

Many online programs are much more affordable than hiring a private tutor or taking a prep course.

Cons

Not all online prep programs are created equally! The wrong online prep program is a massive waste of time and money. And don’t just assume that just because it comes from a big-name test-prep company that it offers you anything great! Make sure you know what you’re really getting for your money before you commit to a program.

 
This handy chart tells you the order, number of questions, and time for each section.

    Section
Order
# of Questions
Time in Minutes
Reading
1
52
65
Writing and Language
2
44
35
Math No Calculator
3
20
25
Math Calculator
4
38
55
Essay (optional)
5
1
50
Total:
 
154 (+1 essay prompt)
3 hours (3 hours 50 mins with essay)
 


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