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5 Reasons The SAT Is Important For Students
April 2, 2015
Getting Your Child Ready For College
April 15, 2015

When Students Should Begin Preparing For The SAT

Students begin preparing for the SAT the minute they start school. The SAT is designed to test the skills and knowledge students have learned throughout their entire education. There are ways to foster these skills throughout a student’s life and there is a time to focus specifically on preparing for the SAT.

An Environment for Test Prep

In middle school students can begin taking challenging courses that will help broaden their knowledge base, as well as teach them how to be successful in a challenging, sometimes stressful atmosphere.

Families can encourage learning by offering time and materials for reading. Reading many different types of material such as fiction, newspapers, magazines, and nonfiction will help increase a student’s vocabulary as well as develop reading and comprehension skills. Families can also spend time playing challenging games that require skills like deductive reasoning or problem solving. Even discussing current events can help your student develop the skills they need to present and defend arguments.


Once a student enters high school the test will be looming in their future. The PSAT is the first way to begin preparing for the SAT. It can be taken in the fall of either a student’s sophomore or junior year. This test is not used in admissions, but very high performing students can win scholarships based on their score. The PSAT will help students develop an idea of what the SAT will be like.

When to Take the SAT

Students will then take the SAT in the fall or spring of their junior year. Taking the test during the junior year will allow time for the test to be taken in the fall of the senior year, if a student desires to improve their score.

A Students Schedule

GreatSchools suggests that a student should discern when he or she will have the most time available for studying. If your fall is full of tough coursework, sports and extracurricular clubs, but you have plenty of time during the summer to study then you may want to plan to take the test during the fall of your junior year and study during the summer. However, if your summer is busy with a job or travel, you may want to wait until spring and spread your test prep out over the school year.

Prep Courses

Remember your high school GPA is also a very important factor when applying to schools. You do not want to let your grades suffer in order to have time to prepare for the SAT. If you think you may not have time to invest in individual study, a no homework test prep course may be the best situation for you. Mr. Test Prep offers the unique study situation that only requires two hour chunks of time a few afternoons a week or on the weekend. With this flexible schedule you only need to commit to the amount of time needed to achieve your desired score instead of a specific number of sessions.

Make a Plan

Ultimately, the timeline for when a student needs to begin preparing for the SAT should be based on each individual student. The most important thing to do is make a plan and don’t let the SAT take you by surprise.

To make your plan:

  • Determine when you want to take your first test. Check application deadlines at the institutions where you intend to apply.
  • Check out CollegeBoard’s SAT website and answer a few questions to get their suggestions for a study timeline.
  • Consider taking a practice test to discover how much work you may need to do to get the score you want.
  • Look into any prep courses you may want to take and what their timelines are.
  • Decide when you have the most time to study.
  • Remember, the sooner you get to work, the more time you will have to prepare. It never hurts to start early!

Preparation for the SAT can feel like a daunting task, but when you prepare early a little bit of study each day can help a lot! Use your time wisely and don’t let other important parts of your high school life suffer just so you have more time to prepare. Students will do well when they have a well thought out plan in place to prepare for the SAT.


San Carlos SAT Test Preparation

Mr. Test Prep strives to prepare students with his San Carlos SAT Test Preparation program. When students engage in his San Carlos SAT Test Preparation program their scores reflect the hard work and dedication put forth. With over 1500 students taught, call Mr. Test Prep with confidence and be prepared!

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