How to Study for the SAT

Succeeding on the SAT isn’t just about what you know, but also about how you approach the test. Study the test to be prepared.


  • Step 1: Purchase a guide Get a study guide to lead you in your preparation. College Board is the company that creates the SAT, so their guide is the safest bet for accurate information.
  • TIP: Check out the many free resources available at
  • Step 2: Start early Start studying at least a year before the test. This will give you a stress-free opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the types of questions to expect.
  • Step 3: Supplement Supplement your study with an online preparation course or a personal SAT tutor. Using a personal tutor is a great way to get expert advice and answers to your questions.
  • Step 4: Focus on skills Focus on learning the types of reasoning skills that the SAT is testing for. All the memorization in the world won’t help you if you can’t use that knowledge to solve problems.
  • Step 5: Take practice tests Take SAT practice tests under conditions identical to those you will face on test day. You can expect timed sections with short breaks in between. If you expect to take tests on a computer, practice on a computer rather than with a pencil and paper.
  • Step 6: Dissect your results Dissect the results of your practice tests. Determine where you went wrong on missed questions and why. Identify problem areas and practice until you’ve mastered them.
  • Step 7: Keep practicing Keep practicing and focus not only on reasoning skills but also on test-taking skills, such as time management and educated guessing.
  • Step 8: Relax Relax -- especially on test day and the day before. Get a good night's sleep. Worrying won’t add to your score. As long as you’ve prepared thoroughly, all that practice will make the test a breeze.
  • FACT: Studies have shown that lack of sleep can contribute to memory loss and poor concentration.

You Will Need

  • An SAT study guide
  • A computer with internet access
  • A personal tutor
  • Practice
  • Relaxation techniques
  • A good night's sleep

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