SAT Prep - How Best to Prepare for the SAT Exam

They say practice makes perfect, and for students looking to go to college, starting SAT prep early can help them to do better. For many 10th and 11th and 12th graders, preparing to ace the SAT exam is far more than words, it is action. Choosing to prepare for the SAT test by enrolling in an online sat prep course, or buying a Princeton, Kaplan or SAT study guide with information, strategies, and practice tests is terrific. However, if the student is not self-motivated, doesn't read through the book or take the practice tests, potentially good scores may be sacrificed.

Keep in mind, that when it comes to planning, preparing and registering for the SAT, students are pretty much on their own. When students take the test: April, May, June, October - is pretty much up to them. So is getting prepared. Also, it is important that students not only prepare for the SAT test, but also, the other necessary preparatory college admissions tests such as: ACT, Subject Tests and PSAT (especially for those students applying for national scholarships).

Getting Prepared for the SAT Test:

What steps and ways students decide to get ready for these standardized tests is individual. Here are some typical ways to prepare:

  • Study guides and books
  • Online SAT test preparation course
  • Enrollment in a local SAT prep class

1. SAT study books and guides

These resources can be very helpful for students. Generally selling for about $20, these paperbacks may provide future test takers with practice questions and full length practice tests (also answers and explanations) as well as SAT information and test taking strategies. Here are some of the most popular choices: Princeton Review publishes, Pocket Prep and Cracking the New SAT 2008; College Board publishes, The Official Study Guide for the New SAT; Kaplan publishes, Kaplan SAT 2006 ; and Peterson's Guide Publishes, Arco Master the SAT 2006.

To buy 2008 SAT study guides, visit our bookstore

2. Online SAT preparatory programs

With hectic and busy schedules, enrolling in an online preparation program can work well. Students can sign up for around $100 and have access to diagnostic and practice tests as well as skill building exercises for subject areas tested in the SAT: math, writing and critical thinking.

3. SAT classes

These live classes usually go for 2 or 3 months and offer students a chance to receive hands-on teaching, with lessons designed to cover different sections of the test. They also typically offer some level of diagnostic testing, which evaluates test takers strengths and weaknesses. Sylvan has a 37 hour prep course that meets 2 times a week for 8 weeks. The class includes six 2 hour Math/Science lessons, four 2 hour critical reading lessons, five writing lessons and three 2.5 hour diagnostic tests: initial evaluation at the beginning of the course, another diagnostic midway, and final diagnostic and the end. Kaplan SAT runs a similar test preparation course. Both have been around for a long time; Sylvan for 25 years, and Kaplan for 70 years. (Classes are located nationwide and cost around $900.)


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