How To Prepare For The SAT In One Month

Life happens. High school is incredibly busy already without throwing college prep on top of it. While ideally you should study for the SAT months in advance, what if you only have one left until the big day? How do you prepare for the SAT in one month? Don’t panic yet. You can do it if you stay focused and manage your time wisely. We’ve laid out a rough strategy to help you make the most of the one month you have to prepare.

Student sitting at a desk with notebooks and a laptop studying for her SAT.

Start By Creating a Study Calendar

With just one month to go, you cannot afford to wing it. At this point, studying whatever you feel like whenever the mood strikes you is a recipe for disaster. There’s always going to be something more exciting to do and without a study calendar, it’s easier to lose track of time yet again. Creating and following an SAT study calendar is the key to acing this crucial test when you’re already short on time.

Creating a calendar helps to break the test prep into more manageable chunks so it feels less overwhelming. It also means you won’t waste any time wondering what to study that day. A quick glance at your calendar and you can dive right into what’s scheduled for the day.

Things To Think About When Creating Your SAT Study Calendar

The most important thing when creating your calendar is to be realistic. Don’t go trying to fit in 5 hours of study a day into your schedule. You must take into consideration all of your other existing commitments. Factor in your school hours, traveling to and from school, homework, extracurricular activities and yes, some downtime too. Without any downtime, there’s a high chance that you’ll burn out by the time you get to your test day.

You know the SAT is made up of 4 sections – Reading, Writing, Math with and Math without a calculator. Then there’s the optional essay if you choose to complete that. In your calendar, make sure you allot time to prepare for each of these sections every week. And of course, you definitely want to make time for the most important SAT prep – practice tests.

What Your SAT Prep Calendar Should Look Like

Week 1 – Week 3:

  • Take a full-length practice test under real test conditions on the first day. This will take 3 hours, which means you’ll have to review it the next day.
  • On the second day, review your practice test in detail, checking the answers and explanations. This will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses so you know what you need to spend extra time on.
  • Schedule reading, writing & language, math 1 & 2 prep for the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th days.
  • Take the 7th day off to give your brain time to rest and recharge and to prevent burnout.

Week 4:

With just 7 days to go, it’s time to kick things into high gear. Take a full-length SAT practice test just like the earlier weeks. Review and score your test. For the next 3 days, focus on those areas that you need to strengthen. Regardless of how unprepared you feel, resist the urge to study on the day before the test. You want to give your brain a chance to rest so it is fully recharged for the test. After you’ve made sure you have everything you need for the next day, spend some time doing something you enjoy.

With some organization and commitment, you can ace the SAT with just one month of prep time.

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