Hi everybody! I am officially in summer and I really want to start prepping for the SAT. I am an upcoming sophomore. What are some good resources for studying? Also, any tips on how and what to study? I have no idea where to start!!!
If you want to improve your math and would consider buying a book, I highly recommend the "SAT Math Advanced Guide and Workbook" by The College Panda.
I increased 140 points between two math practice tests and got a 750 math by using Khan Academy for practice questions and this book for lessons, practice questions, and learning tricks. What's nice about the book is that each chapter is a topic like percents, quadratics, etc so you can hone in on what you need to work on. I highly recommend reading as many sections as you can though because I learned so many tricks and methods I never knew that make problems easier (and that Khan Academy will never teach you).
Something else that helped and motivated me a ton was tracking my study time. I use an app called Toggl Track that's easy and works great to log times and what subjects you studied. I had 28 hours of pretty much only studying math before my 750- but really it depends on your baseline score; I started at a 600 practice test. It just depends for everybody. I liked this article a lot for figuring the hours out: https://blog.prepscholar.com/how-long-should-i-study-for-the-sat-6-step-guide
Also realize that if you haven't finished Algebra 2 yet, it might be a little bit harder to study and might end up being better to wait a year- but you definitely can study w/o it!
Try to use the Khan Academy practice tests sparingly; since you're a sophomore and potentially could spend a long time testing, definitely use them but don't use them all up immediately. You can always reuse the oldest ones after it's been a while and you forget them- this method is also good to see progress off of the same test.
It's always rough starting out studying- don't feel like you're alone! I completely understand that feeling of not knowing where to start. Just sit yourself down, take the first KA practice test (don't let your score discourage you), research what score you would need for your dream schools, and start making a plan. And believe that you CAN get that score, just be willing to put in the work! The SAT is a "hackable" test, you just have to learn the tricks and characteristics of the test and practice them.
Good luck and ask questions about anything too, not just SAT stuff!! Gonna be a senior so I have a little experience :))
Hello! I'm in the same boat as you and am an incoming sophomore as well! I have actually done a little bit of studying already for the SAT (for fun) and have some amazing resources that I think you should try out...
1. Khan Academy.
Really, I think most people would recommend this resource. It is, in my opinion, the most useful by FAR. When studying for the SAT, really the best way is to familiarize yourself with the content and question types. What better way to do this than practice questions? Khan Academy has TONS of practice questions, problem tutorial videos, AND 10 ✨FREE✨ practice tests. And they really work! Keep in mind, I am a freshman and I don't have all my math classes completed, but I took a practice test at the end of eighth grade with no studying and got an 1130. With only two weeks worth of studying (maybe half an hour each day), I raised my score to a 1210. While this is not nearly the score I want, this just goes to show how much this resource helped me and could really help you.
Not only this, but it is super easy to set up an account and everything is free. Khan Academy also has study resources for some AP classes and core on-level high school classes that are super useful. Really, there are no cons. :)
2. Princeton Review.
Let's say you're more of a learn-from-the-book person. This is definitely a study resource you should check out. Not only do they have practice books for the SAT/ACT, but also AP classes (I have a couple 😄). They give really in-depth explanations for each question and have (I believe) four practice tests you can take for the SAT. I'm not too much of a book person, but this resource mainly was EXTREMELY useful for test-taking tips, which Khan Academy does not have.
This is another SAT prep book brand that I have used. As a whole, I prefer it over Princeton Review. It is concise and straight to the point. They lack a bit on test-taking strategies, but is great for learning the content of which you will be tested on.
- My favorite resource
- Use for practice questions/tests
- Is pretty good for learning content
- Super fun
- Cons: Not a lot of test-taking tricks that Princeton Review teaches
- Great for test-taking tips
- Has a couple of practice tests
- Good for people who prefer reading from a book
- Cons: not a ton of practice questions, takes awhile to grade your tests as you have to flip many pages, not fantastic for learning material, costs some money
- Great for learning material
- Concise, straight to the point
- Cons: costs some money
My advice for you, based on my experiences with these resources...
- First use Princeton Review to gain solid knowledge of question types and test-taking tips
- Then use Barron's to learn the material and practice a bit of questions along the way
- Put your skills to the test and start using Khan Academy (for the majority of your study time) to practice questions, which is really the best way to study.
- Finally, take some of Khan Academy's practice tests to see how far you are from reaching your goal scores.
Sorry if this was a bit long! I'm happy to answer any follow up questions :)
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