7 Tips for Summer SAT Prep


summer sat prep


As the school year is over and the final examination grades are being compiled across the nation. Many students and parents are brainstorming different ways of squeezing in some test prep time over the summer.  If that’s not you yet, don’t worry! Here are 7 actionable tips you can use to help your child on their way to SAT success!

It’s best to start test prep during the summer and make it a habit for when it’s really needed. During this time of the year, students are more relaxed, and are less consumed by class schedules, social protocol, and extra curricular activities. 

Parents of students who are set to attend college and are serious about scholarships should take advantage of this time to prepare adequately for SAT examinations. Test preparation is best started early to give students the best shot at a good SAT score and a place at their first choice college. Starting now builds up the habit in time for the start of a new school year.

  1. Make it a habit!  Your child should make it a habit of dedicating an amount of time each week practicing questions they find hard. This could be 1-2 hours, once or twice a week, so long as it is consistent.  This time doesn’t have to be all in one go, in fact most people work best and retain more information in short bursts of up to 20 minutes.
  2. Set achievable goals.  Every student should have an SAT score in mind.  Set a goal for what kind of test score your child needs to get into their college of your choice.  It doesn’t hurt to aim a little higher either.
  3. Choose the right type of test prep; Every student learns differently, some require more guidance than others.  When it comes to SAT prep there is something for everyone, including: local classes, online courses, student forums, Youtube videos, printable practice tests and a whole lot more.
  4. Learn visually; with vocabulary cartoons, SAT crosswords, Flocabulary (hip-hop music that boosts vocabulary), yes that’s a thing! Or even the Kaplan SAT/ACT Score-Raising Manga Series. There are many other unique resources, as well. Reading will help students with the SAT’s vocabulary and writing components.
  5. Get help from tutors. SAT tutors usually have firsthand experience with the SAT test and what it takes to achieve a high score.  They can help identify your child’s individual strengths and weaknesses, and work precisely on the areas that help them to achieve their desired SAT score.  Seeing a tutor over the summer gives students more time to dedicate to the areas they struggle with most.
  6. Practice makes perfect. Each time you take a practice test, more and more questions will seem easy to you.  As you begin to collect these questions you answer right, without fail, work these easier questions into your daily review habit.  Spend 20 minutes, twice per day reviewing each question.  Do easy question reviews at least three days per week.
  7. Study the answers that matter most.  Make sure your child spends time working on questions they find hardest.  It is best to use the longer time period to focus on these areas, than to rush them at the end. Study the explanations until they are understood.  If you have questions, be sure to ask someone.

Ultimately, it’s never too early for students to start preparing for the SAT.  Having more time will mean that your child is less stressed and more familiar with the SAT come test time. Cramming at the last minute rarely sees positive results.  Summer SAT prep doesn’t have to be all consuming, any amount of regular study, however small can prove beneficial.


Today’s guest post is from James Maroney, the founder of First Choice College Placement, a test preparation center based in Milford, CT.  Since 1999 James has traveled the country helping students to prepare for the SAT and ACT tests and gain a place at their first choice college.

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