A Study SATs Plan: OKAY, You've decided to
tackle the SATs on your own.


No worries. We've got a Study SATs Plan for you:


This Study SATs Plan is an effective way to study if you are disciplined and motivated.
In addition, you can save a lot of money. It is important in preparing for the SAT or ACT to continually
monitor your progress.

If you find yourself not improving, not studying, or otherwise
unmotivated, this is not the plan for you. See SAT Study Options.

Remember that a key element in preparing for this exam is to take practice exams often.


This page will give you links to material you will need to purchase,
and make suggestions about optional material that may be of help
and interest to you.


*****First, sign up for the test*****

    The first Sat for the fall of 2017 will be held in August, the next test will be in October.

  • When you sign up to take the SAT, sign up for the College Board SAT Question of the day. (Comes to your email.)

  • If possible, start your Study SAT Plan about seven-eight
    weeks before the test.

  • Always start on a Saturday. (Cause that's when you take the test)

  • Order The Official Study Guide for the New SATs by the College Board.

This is essential for test preparation.

The Exam is written by ETS, and administered by the College Board and
you will sign up on THE COLLEGE BOARD web site to take the test

Purchase Study Guides, by any of several publishers, for the SAT I Reasoning Exam. Be sure, BE SURE, the date on the front of the Study Guide says 2017, 2018, or 2017-2018. The test was new this year, and yo do not want an older edition, which will be tests from the earlier version of the SAT Exam.

Other books and web sites of Interest for SAT Preparation:

  • "Cartoon Vocabulary" Several Editions, Fast Learning, funny.

  • "Up Your Score, The Underground Guide to the SAT."

  • www. PrincetonReview.com

  • www. Kaplan.com

  • www. Petersons.com

This SAT Study Plan uses the tests available from the College Board, and encourages you to use extra study materials to help you along the way, such as the ones by publishers listed above.

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER before you start the Study SATs Plan:

  • Familiarize yourself with any test prep books you purchased,
    so you know what each has to offer and how to use them

  • Use the material from any books you purchased, with this study guide

  • Score your tests each week using the directions given in the section immediately following each Practice Test

    This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses so
    you know where you need to focus your attention as you proceed with the Study SATs Plan.

  • Except for each Saturday, when you will be taking a test, spend 30 - 45 minutes per day on the SAT material

    • It is counterproductive to spend long hours at one time studying for the test

    • Be focused and organized in your approach to the material

    • Be ruthless with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, and work on improvement

    • Before taking the test, memorize all directions, including the material on the top of each test

    • Learn how to fill in the "grid-in" sections in the Student Response section

    • Bubble several answers in a section at one time, keeping track of the numbers you are bubbling, and your time limits

    • Study Essay Tips, practice writing the essays, using different prompts. Read all the advice in the Study Gides and follow their example essays responses.

    • Analyze and understand the strategies for answering SAT I questions

    • Remember that practice tests are one section shorter than the actual tests, which contain an "experimental" section

    • Since you have purchased the Official Guide SAT Study Guide, you may submit your first essay to College Board.com for a grade and comments

      (see Essay Guide) and they will give you an online critique and a grade for your essay

    • Incorporate your extra material into this study SATs Plan to augment your learning process (See suggestions above)

    First thing: Take a free, downloadable SAT Diagnostic Exam from College Board. test from College Board

    Extra Study Material:

    Another help are diagnostic tests, included in every study guide, and on the College Board SAT section of their site. This will highlight your strengths and weaknesses. After taking the test, grade your test, and pay attention to your scores, and the concepts. Work on what you learn from this test by correcting the test, making notes, and studying the explanations, learning as you go.


    Study SATS Plan: Week One: The First Saturday (morning):

    • Take Test #1 from the Official SAT Study Guide for the New SAT.

    • Take the entire test, with two breaks. Time yourself, but don't worry about time limits

    • Don't cheat here, write a five-paragraph essay each week,

      with help from our SATS and ACT essay writing guide and submit one of those to Collegeboard.com for grading and comments

    • Remember that bubbling the answers in the little ovals is not meant to be an artistic challenge - Stay within the lines, but don't try for perfection

    • Have a clock or a watch where you can see it
  • Week One: Sunday

    • Score your test using the section immediately following Practice Test One.
      This will identify your strengths and weaknesses so you know
      where you need to focus your attention

    • Make a chart listing the three sections of the test,
      Critical Reading, Math, and Multiple Choice Writing, and your scores for each test

    • Begin to memorize the directions on the first sheet of each test (A time saver)

    Week One: Monday

    • Using the test answers in the Official Guide, review the section in which you achieved your lowest score. For example, let's start with the math sections

    • Redo the questions, comparing your work to the answers to see which you can correctly solve and which ones you do not understand

    Week One: Tuesday

    • Do practice questions for the math test sections in one of your workbooks. If your answers are wrong, follow carefully the explanations until you understand

    Week One: Wednesday

    • Review second lowest scoring section of the test, for example, the Critical Reading sections, and repeat Monday activity with those sections

    Week One: Thursday

    • Do practice questions for the Critical Reading test sections in one of your workbooks. If your answers are wrong, follow carefully the explanations until you understand

    Week One: Friday

    • Review highest scoring section of the test, for example, the Multiple Choice Writing sections, and repeat Monday activity with those sections


    Study SATs Plan: Week Two: Saturday

    • Take SAT Practice Test 2. Time yourself, and stop each section when time is up

    • Take two breaks, with bottled water and snacks

    • BEFORE YOU START TEST #2, Be sure you have your calculator


    This time, time yourself carefully, make a note of your start time. When your time is up, mark that place, and then continue on to finish each test. When you finish, mark the time

    You will do this with each individual test section, including the essay

    Week Two: Sunday

    Score your test this way

    • First score each section's part that you finished in the amount of time noted at the beginning of each section. Calculate your score, using the tables provided. If you followed the essay-writing advice, give yourself a 4 on the essay, and use that to compute your Multiple-writing score

    • After you have completed scoring the portions you completed within the time constraints of the test, then score those portions of the test you completed after your time was up for each section

    Week Two: Monday

    • Analyze the results of your weekend's testing

    • Study the scores of the parts you finished within the time constraints
      to see how you performed relative to the first week, and compare the
      three test subject results to last week's exam

    • Begin the process of analyzing your performance on each of the three test subjects

    Week Two: Tuesday

    • Again, start with the section in which you received your lowest scores,
      and begin to work through those questions

    • Correct each wrong answer, being sure you understand why you missed it,
      and how to arrive at the correct answer

    • Do remedial or practice work in extra books you have purchased

    Week two: Wednesday

    • Do practice questions and exercises from your workbooks, including the Official Guide to the SATs

    Week Two: Thursday

    • Repeat yesterday's activities, but with your second lowest scores

    • Work on the section in which you received your second lowest scores, and begin to work through those questions

    • Correct each wrong answer, being sure you understand why you missed it,
      and how to arrive at the correct answer

    Week Two: Friday

    • Do exercises for the work you did on Thursday. Concentrate on improving performance

    Another week out of the way.

    • NOTE: You will be taking a test on the week-end, but don't worry that you did not work on the tests on which you made your highest scores.
      For right now, the important thing is to keep working on the lowest scores

    • On Monday, you will start out working on the section on which you received your highest score in test #3

    You may be wondering why you keep taking these wretched tests!

    • Study after study shows that the best way to do well on the SAT I
      Reasoning Test is to Practice.

    • This means taking tests.

    Week Three: Sunday

    • Write the essay following the essay guide. Try to write the five-paragraph essay in 25 minutes, including an introduction, three examples with reflections, and a conclusion tying the whole thing together

    • If it takes longer, mark your place at 25 minutes and continue on

    • This week you will begin the process of whittling down your writing time to 25 minutes

    Week Three: Monday

    • Score your test, keeping track of the grade for each of the three parts

    Week Three: Tuesday

    • Work on the tests on which you received your BEST score

    • Correct the questions you missed, and be sure you understand the reasoning behind the answers.

    Week Three: Wednesday

    • Read Essay Tips(LINK)
    • Write the essay from Practice Test 8, in your College Guide to the New SATs, or choose a topic from one of your workbooks

    • Do not "select" the topic by what appeals to you. Put your finger on one and go with it. Write down your times

    • Remember, on the test, you have to get this done in 25 minutes

    Week Three: Thursday

    • Go over your essay, correct it, check spelling, punctuation, and content. IF you exceeded the time limit, note what you could have done to finish within 25 minutes

    Week Three: Friday

    • You will be taking Practice Test 4 tomorrow

    • Go over your lowest scoring sections from Test #3 today, in preparation for tomorrow's test

    • Do workbook exercises for this subject

    Study SATS Plan: Week Four: Saturday

    • By now you are tired of the grind. Hopefully, though, you
      are seeing some improvement, If not, analyze why you
      are not improving, and take steps to work more, or change
      what you are doing

      Remember: Practice is what raises your score. The more you do these questions, the better off you will be, come test day

    • Take Practice Test 4.

    • Time yourself exactly for each section. For everything but the essay, stop at the end of each section when your time is up; you can finish the sections later in the week

    • When writing the essay, if your time last week was more than 25 minutes, aim at shaving a few minutes off that time. You will continue to do this each week until the test

  • Don't give up on your study SATs plan, you are over half-way home.

    Week Four: Sunday

    • Don't do any SAT studying today. You are over half-way to the test, take a break

    eek Four: Monday-Friday

    • Back to work

    • Score test #4, and look carefully at each section

    • This week, concentrate most of your time on the section in which your scores are the lowest. For instance math. Review math concepts that you don't know or can't remember, identify types of problems that are difficult for you: (e.g. functions, trig. probability, etc) and review the basic concepts for:

      • Math

      • Critical Reading

      • Multiple Choice Writing
    • Study from workbooks, choosing exercises that math your weaknesses or that review particular topics

    Study SATs Plan: Week Five: Saturday

    • Practice Test #5

    • If necessary, trim your time on the essay. Remember what is required

    • Keep to your Study Sats Plan
    • Take SAT Practice Test #5, all in one sitting, and strictly timed

    Week Five: Sunday

    • Score your test

    • Evaluate your essay with the guidelines on the essay page

    • Total your scores

    Week Five: Monday to Wednesday

    • Begin an organized plan based on the test you took on the weekend

    • Divide the test into the three sections, math, Critical Reading, and Multiple Choice Writing

    • Correct your errors, section by section over the next three days. As you work through the tests, be sure you understand how to do the problem you missed in math, what the correct answer means in the Critical Reading and Multiple Choice Writing sections

    • In the Sentence Completion portions of the Critical Reading Tests:

    • Write down dictionary meanings of any words you did not recognize in the answer choices

    • Check to be sure you paid attention to work clues in the sentences

    • Be sure you understand the strategies for these particular kinds of questions

      Week Five: Thursday

      • Choose the subject in which you have the lowest scores. Take 2 of that subject's tests from Practice Test #8

      • Score your tests
    • Week Five: Friday

      • Take the third subject test from test # 8

      • Combine your scores and figure out your test score for that section, using the scoring information and tables that follow test 8 in the Official Study Guide for the New SAT

      Study SATs Plan: Week Six: Saturday


      • Take Test #6

      Study SATs Plan - SIX DAYS TO GO, HANG IN THERE! Sunday: Week Six

      • Score test #6

      • Figure out your scores for each section

      • Review each section of the test, correcting your errors, and being sure you understand the reasoning behind the correct answer, and how you got the wrong answer

      Week Six: Monday to Wednesday

      Consider Princeton Review Last Minute Guide to the New SATs

      From Test # 7, from "The Official SAT Study Guide"

      • Do one sentence completion exercise each day, score it and study your mistakes and the correct answers

      • Do one short or long Critical Reading passage each day, score and analyze

      • Do one math test each day

      Week Six: Thursday

      • Review any areas of weakness. If using Princeton Last Minute Guide, work on Section two, solving problems

      Week Six: Friday

      Tomorrow is the big day.

      The only studying you should do today is to review any concepts about which you are still concerned

      Get your supplies together the night before:

      Your "THINGS-TO-BRING" list for SAT test day

      • SAT Ticket

      • Picture ID

      • Calculator - install new batteries earlier in the week

      • Watch- keep track of the time yourself

      • Sweater or jacket-easier to take off layers than to be unprepared in a cold room


      • Tissues

      • Water or other beverages

      • Snacks for breaks: Food is essential for any part of the Study SATs Plan

      • Headache medicine if inclined


      • Avoid caffeine after 4 P.M.

      • Prepare your supplies to take with you

      • Don't study SATs

      • Go to bed at a reasonable time and get a good night sleep

      Week Seven: TEST DAY

      • Get up (This is huge and a key element of the Study SATs Plan.)

      • Eat breakfast. Every study shows...I know you have heard it a million times, but it's true. Your brain will function better, particularly at math

      • Plan to be at the site at least twenty minutes early, and plan for heavy traffic areas

      Week Seven: AT THE TEST

      • Don't discuss the test with anyone during the breaks. Some people will cheat by asking questions during the breaks and then changing their original answers when they return to their desks

      • Keep track of the time on your own

      • Remember you have a right to have the full amount of time written at the top of the test, to complete each exam

      • Directions for the tests, given by the proctor, are not given during the assigned time for the test

      • You have a right to two breaks

      • You have a right to have a reasonably quiet test environment

      • The proctor should not engage in an undue amount of conversation during the test periods, and should not be talking on a cell phone

      • If conditions for the test are difficult or something makes it impossible
        for you to complete the test, (like, say, projectile vomiting
        or an obnoxious person bothering you, etc. ) you have, technically,
        72 hours to "cancel" your test after you leave. However, my one student who tried that after becoming ill, could not get trough on the phone to the College Board number until three days later.

      In case you missed it, we tell about the Sat and the ACT here.

      Study Sats Home Page

      SAT and ACT Essays - get help preparing to write

      FAQS about the SATs


      Return to the top of Study SATs Plan

      Top Tips and Strategies for the SAT I

      Return to Everything-About-College Home page

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