Join Vince Kotchian for an in-depth discussion in this video Preparing a study timeline, part of SAT Prep: Getting Started.
- SAT prep is different for everyone because everyone starts the process at a slightly different level. In this movie I'll explain how to come up with a timeline for your preparation. The first comment I would make about a timeline is that most people underestimate how much work they'll need. It's particularly hard to improve at the very highest and lowest levels. So when in doubt give yourself a little bit more time. Shoot for about a half an hour to an hour per day. And try to just be slow and consistent with your work in terms of how much you do.
Get it on your planner and make sure it gets done just like the rest of your homework. It's important also to not go too long without working on a particular topic. So try to switch things up every two to three days. You don't want too long to go by without working on something or you might start to forget what you learned. So I'll give you an example of someone who's trying to come up with a study timeline. Let's say someone takes a practice test and his scores are 550 in each of the sections. And the person wants to increase his score to a 700 in each section.
Since the person wants to improve about 150 points, he may need to spend about three or even six months improving skills like reading and vocabulary for the critical reading section. These are skills that take a little bit longer to improve. About the same is true for the math section. Because a lot of foundational math may need to be learned and relearned. However, grammar can be learned much faster. The person might be able to learn all the grammar he needs to know within a month or two. In later movies I'm going to explain exactly how to build the foundation for each section.
Make sure that you check in every three or four weeks by taking an official SAT practice test, to see if you need to revise your timeline. If you do, no big deal, just change it accordingly. You might improve faster than the example I gave. Or slower. And you may be able to speed up your progress if you can find a good tutor or a class. So remember if you want high SAT scores, you'll need a very strong foundation for each part of the test. Make sure you give yourself enough time and be patient.
- Understanding the structure and scoring of the SAT
- Preparing a study strategy
- Note-taking and pacing
- Reviewing the SAT essay
- Answering grammar questions
- Learning SAT math techniques
- Improving reading comprehension
- Understanding passage-based reading questions