How to Prepare for the SATs

The Scholastic Aptitude Test, or the SAT, is the most important test a high schooler will encounter. Although certain colleges abide by a “test-optional’’ policy, there are a multitude of schools that require a minimum score for consideration of admission. While the PSAT introduces the components of the SAT and allows for practice, individuals will still need additional prep in order to ensure a score they desire. Although there are a number of ways to prep for the SAT, the following methods have been proven to be the most popular and effective.


Khan Academy

Khan Academy is an immensely popular website, as it offers an array of topics for an individual to practice and study. In addition to their AP prep and other coursework, the website also offers free SAT Prep. An LHS student expressed their love for the website, explaining how it is “a life saver. It saved thousands of dollars that could have been put towards another prep course yet was just as effective.” The website tracks your progress and tells you which topics you need extra practice with. It also has the ability to connect to your college board account, which is immensely helpful when an individual has taken the test once before. The connection differentiates the strengths and weaknesses demonstrated on your previous SAT and provides practice problems for the topics you struggled with. Because of its affordability and efficiency, Khan Academy is one of the most popular methods of SAT Prep. 


Practice tests

“I found that the more practice tests that I took, the more my SAT score improved,” said a senior at Leonia High School.

Although individuals argue that practice tests are exhausting due to the time it takes, it is one of the most effective methods due to its immense similarity to the SAT. It is the most accurate way to study not only due to its identical format and similarly structured practice problems, but it also allows an individual to practice time management, something that can not be taught. College Board as well as a multitude of other sources offer practice tests, and most tests will provide you with a score or an answer key to determine how well you did. Practice tests allow for a less stressful SAT experience, as the day of your test you will be familiar with your skills and be aware of how you should triage the test.


SAT Books

Brands such as College Board, The Princeton Review, Kaplan Review and more have created SAT books which include practice tests, practice questions, and answer keys that thoroughly explain how to approach each problem and how to achieve the answer. “This is an excellent source for anyone who wants to save money and move at their own pace,” says a Leonia High School student who did exceptionally well on their SAT. The SAT books contains everything a student needs in order to appropriately prepare, making this method of prep immensely convenient. 


Personal Tutor

Individuals who want one-on-one prep will hire a personal tutor. The thought of a tutor will often comfort individuals, as they are aware that they are not responsible to teach themselves foreign material. A tutor will often use an SAT book and will simply teach their students every concept in the book. A tutor is a great option, as “it allows students to ask all the questions they want and have their tutor re explain the concepts they’re struggling with,” said an LHS student who received a perfect score on the SAT. The price of tutoring, however, varies and can be extremely expensive. If an individual is unable to self-study for the SAT and is afraid to ask questions when in a large group, hiring a tutor would be a great idea.


Prep Courses

There are a multitude of prep courses available, popular brands being Kaplan Review and The Princeton Review. These prep courses, although usually being extremely expensive, have the potential to help a student earn an exceedingly high score. These courses proctor practice tests, teach the various topics found on the SAT, assign homework to ensure that the students are practicing, provide various tips and tricks, and more. An LHS student explains how her mom was against putting her in any prep course due to the one thousand dollar price tag, but was later thrilled with her decision when her daughter received a near perfect score. Local centers almost always offer SAT prep for a significantly cheaper price yet just as effective coursework, a great option for those who want a great score without the empty wallet. 


Overallhinking that there is only one method of SAT prep could not be farther from the truth. Each individual will have their preferred method of prep which will allow them to receive their target score on the SAT. The SAT is an exceedingly important test that can determine the fate of one’s future. Using one of the mentioned methods of prep will guarantee you perfection not only on the SAT, but in your future pathway as well.