What's the best way to start studying for the SAT?
The best way to start studying for the SAT is by taking a practice test. A practice test gives you valuable information about the SAT:
- It lets you know where your score is without having first studied. We call this a "diagnostic score." Having an idea of where you're starting off lets you see how much you need to improve, and will help you as you create a study schedule.
- It lets you see what kinds of questions are on the SAT, and figure out which kinds of questions give you the most trouble. The SAT is unlike any test you've taken before, and the questions will be different than what you've had in high school tests. Figuring out what the questions are like and which ones you have a hard time with will help you shine a spotlight on problem areas and focus your study energy where you need it most.
- It shows you how long (and exhausting) an actual SAT is. The SAT is longer than any academic test you've taken before. It's 3 hours and 45 minutes long. That's longer than many people take to run a marathon--and, in many ways, the SAT is a mental marathon that can leave you feeling exhausted and drained. The best way build up your mental stamina for the SAT is by knowing exactly how long it will take and where your attention started to waver. By taking multiple practice tests throughout your studies, you will beef up your mental cardio and have no problems on test day.
You can find free SAT practice tests right on our SAT Free Help Area (here), and on the College Board website (here). You can also find a virtual proctor, which you can use to time yourself as you take your practice tests, on our SAT Free Help Area (here).
Want to check out other SAT tips? Click here.