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When is the Best Time to Start Studying for the SAT?

Success on the SAT requires hard work and an effective study plan. Dedicating at least 2-6 months to dedicated studying can increase your odds of attaining your desired score; your preparation process should include taking practice tests, setting target scores, creating a study strategy, reviewing content areas and practicing test-taking techniques while keeping motivation at an all time high.

Ideal preparation for the SAT begins early. Since many of its subject areas require knowledge from grade school and middle school curriculums, delaying your start date increases difficulty of catching up and may lower chances of attaining desired scores.

Many students struggle with math, and the SAT covers advanced topics like remainders and fractions that typically are introduced later in elementary and middle school. If this is your situation, it is vitally important that preparation begins early on – starting during your freshman year would be ideal!

If you are not struggling with math but are new to taking either the PSAT or SAT exams, taking both in your sophomore year and starting preparation for them in the summer before your junior year may be beneficial in getting acquainted with both tests as well as understanding where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

Determine how much time to devote to your SAT studies and develop an individual schedule tailored to your abilities and desired score goal. Some students can devote more hours than others; either approach can result in significant score gains.

Consideration should also be given to which colleges you wish to attend when determining when is the optimal time to begin studying for the SAT. Some are highly selective and accept only a small proportion of applicants while others accept more applications but still allow over half. Be sure to research each of your preferred school’s minimum score requirements so you can set goals for practice tests and study habits that suit.

No matter when you start studying for the SAT exam, it is vitally important not to cram on test day – this can be mentally draining and likely result in lower scores come test time. Be sure to get enough rest the night before; by following these tips you will be better prepared and can have confidence knowing that everything has been done to prepare. Best wishes on your journey!

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