SAT Preparation – How Early Must You Start Studying?
‘Fall’, ‘junior year’, ‘summer before junior year’ – these terms are all over the world wide web when it comes to SAT preparation. Which, for Indian students, can be confusing, and rightly so. But if you are one of those who is gearing up to take the SAT, it will do well to know the right time to start studying for it. Plus, knowing how to prepare will give you a head start over your competition. Here comes more…
When to start preparing?
What is the right time to start preparing for SAT? Or how early must one start to prepare? Is it after Class 10 exams? Or is it in Class 9 itself? Indian students are flummoxed with such questions when it comes to the SAT. So, when does one start studying for this qualifying test?
To get an apt answer to this question, let’s see the timeline of the exam itself. But to be forthright, the adage ‘The early bird gets the worm’ holds true. This means the earlier you begin the better it is. Looking at the timeline of when you must start applying to institutes, it is best to give your SAT in Class 11 in the months of September/October. This way, you also have the option of reappearing for the exam if you’re dissatisfied with your scores. In such a case, you can take it again in April/May or after your Class 11 finals. If you garner good scores in the first attempt, you can focus on applying to the best institutes while in your Class 12. And, if you take it in Class 9, you’re better prepared in every way to reattempt it in Class 11. Now you can craft a better exam strategy as you have the wisdom about it. You are well acquainted with every aspect of the exam, and hence, your approach when you retake it will be different. Multiple attempts on SAT are quite beneficial as you can decide which score you wish to share with the institutes you are applying to.
So, knowing what you want, and which institute you wish to apply to is important. However, all said and done, we suggest you start preparing for the exam in the later part of Class 10 or start in Class 11. You can start by putting in an hour daily (scale this up going forward) and take up a good SAT course to aid your prep. As we mentioned above, the early you start, the better.
So, what are the advantages of starting early? How will this practice benefit you? Here’s how:
A strategic study plan
When you begin early, you will be able to build a proper and effective strategy with practice. You can take mocks, solve papers to get insight into your weaknesses and know the exam structure. Then, you can work to strengthen our weak spots. You can design strategies to answer questions innovatively and solve them in less time. You can filter the questions and figure out which questions to answer first. In short, you can devise an exam plan to optimize your months of study.
You’re better prepared
When you start early, you will avoid colliding your SAT prep with our other activities and extracurriculars. You can focus easily on your responsibilities and gradually even space out your SAT exam prep over a longer time span. This way, you will be able to avoid cramming in a lot in a few days before the exam. This means that you will greatly cut down on exam stress, boosting your confidence as well. Also, starting early will help you retain what you’ve learnt for longer, as you will have more time to revise.
No pressure for your college exams
Another advantage of starting early is that you will have no pressure when it comes to your college exams. We all know how stressful exams can be, and all the more when it comes to a qualifying exam like the SAT. And then, you will have the stress of your regular exams as well. All this will only add up to your nervousness and anxiety. But, when you start early, you will get enough time to study for both – your college exams and your SAT. This will make you feel lighter and well-prepared.
You’re better prepared
We’ve mentioned this earlier when we mentioned the timeline of the exam and are stressing the point here. You are well aware of multiple attempts when it comes to the SAT, which is a definite advantage. You can take the exam in September/October. In case you do not get your desired scores, you can take it again in April/May. If you are dissatisfied with your scores, you can evaluate our performance, fix your mistakes and be better prepared for your next attempt. All this is only when you start your prep early.
Also read: Assess your SAT strengths and weaknesses
You’re well-acquainted with the syllabus
When you start your preparation well in advance, you will get more time to get acquainted with the syllabus. Math’s in high school is fine, but Math’s in the SAT is different and tests your problem-solving abilities. The SAT evaluates you in quirky ways through arithmetic problems and algebra. Also, English needs a different level of understanding and approach. The Evidence-based Reading and Writing section requires the comprehension of trends in graphs, good vocabulary, and good grammar.
Preparing for the SAT may seem a bit of a challenge, especially with your regular college course. However, you can nail it with proper planning and about 10 hours of study for about 4-5 months. Slowly, your study strategy will evolve, and you will need to put in fewer hours per week. Also, you can enroll in SAT classes to support your prep. TG Campus offers an intense and comprehensive SAT preparation online course that covers the entire syllabus in depth. The course has the best faculty to guide and mentor you and support you in your academic journey. So, starting early and joining an online SAT course will greatly boost your SAT preparation.