How to Optimize Your Study Time for the SAT or ACT

Photography by Alberto G.
Taking the SAT or ACT may not be the highlight of your senior year of high school, but it certainly ranks near the top of the priority list. Colleges will be shopping for freshmen with high scores, so it is imperative that you optimize your study time so you can get the most out of the experience. Staying at home to study while your friends are “having fun” might seem like a dreadful prospect, but this is a necessity for students to gain familiarity with such a long and tricky exam., the official web site of the SAT and ACT, allows students to register for the ‘SAT Question of the Day’. Signing up for this free service is a great way to get a daily dose of SAT study time. It also serves as a reminder to spend some time in review each day. Your college test day sneaks up on you, so make the most of every day leading up to it.

Instead of cramming right before the exam, it is much more beneficial to study in increments.  This incremental study pattern or rhythm is proven to help with the retention of information   Studying for the exam (practicing problems, studying vocabulary) every day also prevents “shock value” (students who are unfamiliar with test material may feel overwhelmed) while allowing you to increase your concentration and stamina throughout the duration of the exam. The simple step of looking at Collegeboard’s SAT question of the day can get you into the groove of practicing for a set period of time prior to your test date while giving you an edge over unprepared, unorganized test takers.

Software is available to aid in college test preparation. Practice tests, sample questions and standardized test-taking advice are all organized in a user-friendly formats that make studying less of a chore. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for “old-fashioned” study habits. Math skills can be best improved by working practice problems until they become easy. Improve English and grammar skills by reviewing the rules and memorizing terms and definitions. Sharpen reading comprehension skills by reading books and articles and answering relative questions about the content of the text.

Begin SAT/ACT preparation months in advance. Starting now is not too early for those planning on taking the October exam. Some practice each day eliminates the dreaded cram session that many students find themselves in during the days before the test.

Elevated Math ( offers highly relevant lessons for preparing for the math component of the SAT and ACT tests. Students can download the Elevated Math Application to their iPad. Lessons that cover the teaching and reviewing of essential math skills relevant for the SAT and ACT tests are segregated in the app. Two lessons found in the college test prep section are complimentary in this free app. Do not underestimate the power of practice! Spending just a few hours each week reviewing these fun and easy-to-learn lessons builds confidence, and scores can soar!
Finally, get a good night’s sleep the night before the test. Most college admissions test sessions begin at 7am or 8am on a Saturday. Resist the urge to stay up late the night before. Your mind will thank you on the morning of the test, and you’ll be even happier when the scores come back.
By Frances Kweller.   Kweller Prep, Inc. offers test prep, tutoring, and tremendous meticulous assistance with the high school, college, and graduate school applications and admissions process. Their goal is to provide outstanding private educational services at public prices.   1-800-631-1757

3 thoughts on “How to Optimize Your Study Time for the SAT or ACT”

  1. Pingback: How to Optimize Your Study Time for the SAT or ACT | Elevated Math | Math and Technology in the Classroom |

  2. Thank you! Remember, the key on the SAT and similar exams is to practice, stay confident, and, use good techniques and strategies. Please remind your kids to be patient as they study! Slowly but surely, their scores will increase!

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