How to Study for the ACT / SAT If You’re a Procrastinator

If you’re a procrastinator, it can be extremely difficult to get your work done ahead of time. Whether it’s homework or studying for a test, you’re likely doing that the night before. However, while the ACT and SAT are “tests,” they’re not the kind you can study for just the night before. Students taking these need to understand the types of questions they’re going to be asked, the material, and the methods for taking the exam. It’s not something you can learn in just a few hours. You also need plenty of sleep the night before!

So how can you study for the ACT or SAT if you regularly procrastinate?

A student is asleep at his desk with books while studying for the ACT

First, Understand Why You Procrastinate

For the most part, people procrastinate because they view the task like work. There are much better things to do with your days than “work,” after all! So it may be time to reframe how you think of studying for the ACT or SAT.

One suggestion is to turn it into a game. Give yourself rewards when you reach a certain milestone, whether that be studying for a few hours, scoring well on a practice test, or managing to study each and every night for a week straight. Think of it as achievements in a video game.

Make Studying a Daily Habit

Creating a habit can be difficult, but once you have it down, they’re very hard to break.

Some tips for creating a habit around studying for the ACT and SAT:

  • Do the studying as soon as you remember you should if you forgot earlier in the day.
  • Set reminders on your phone.
  • Don’t make your initial studying difficult. Taking on too much at once can be detrimental and cause you to procrastinate more.
  • Start with just 15 minutes – you’ll likely find that you will study for more than 15 minutes! It’s all about getting started.
  • Study with a friend.

    • They will help you stay motivated and consistent.
  • It’s okay to forget. Don’t beat yourself up over one missed day and give up on the habit altogether. Aim to do better.
  • Keep the benefits in plain sight.

    • You may want to hang a list of your goals in your room, for example.

Take Advantage of Schedules

One of the best ways to approach studying for the ACT or SAT is to create a schedule – that you stick to! This will help you keep procrastination at bay, as long as you think of this time block of something you have to do at that specific time.

Your schedule should include times for reviewing questions, taking practice exams, and going over your practice tests to see what you performed well on and what you can still do with some work. You should also be setting time aside for breaks, including days where you don’t study at all.

How to Study for the ACT / SAT If You’re a Procrastinator

Procrastination can be tough to overcome. However, taking steps right now to get past it can be truly beneficial for your SAT and ACT scores. The habits you start setting now will also prove to be beneficial in college, work, and life.

Curious how your ACT or SAT score affects your college acceptance odds? Check it out with our free college match tool.

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