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What is the ideal time to start SAT preparation to study in the US?

When it comes to the SAT, timing is everything. If you want to attend university in the US, you should ideally begin your SAT preparation between 6 and 12 months from your target test date.

This window provides enough runway to thoroughly prepare without letting the process completely monopolize your life.

Developing a Study Plan

A focused, phased study plan is key. Start by improving content knowledge and fundamental concepts.

From there, transition to practicing actual SAT-style questions across all subjects.

Finally, once you’ve built up skills, take full-length practice tests mimicking the actual exam experience.

Identify your weak areas early on and allocate extra time to reviewing those topics.

Also, consistency matters too. So, dedicate regular weekly sessions to SAT prep alongside your normal studies.

Strengthening Your Weaknesses

As you progress through practice materials, pay close attention to the question types and content areas that are causing you trouble.

Don’t just gloss over them—dig in using all available resources, such as prep books, online materials, tutors, and courses.

Improving on those weaknesses could mean the difference between a good SAT score and a great one.

Practice Tests and Analysis

Your SAT prep simply isn’t complete until you’ve taken full-length practice tests under authentic, timed conditions.

These mock exams serve a few crucial purposes.

First, they get you acclimated to the mental and physical demands of powering through that extended stretch of test-taking duration.

Next, they’re reps for pacing yourself across sections. The biggest payoff, however, comes afterward when you dissect your performance.

Comb through each test to understand exactly why you missed what you missed. Were there particular content areas or question types that derailed you?

Those insights should then laser-focus your remaining prep on addressing those specific weaknesses.

Seeking Additional Support

For some students, solo study just isn’t going to cut it. If you find yourself repeatedly stumbling over certain SAT concepts or skills, consider seeking expert assistance.

Enrolling in an SAT prep course or working one-on-one with a private tutor allows for personalized instruction and feedback tailored to your needs.

Plus, there’s social support. Being part of a classroom setting or study group provides moral support, fresh perspectives, and a sense of camaraderie as you all grind toward this shared goal.

Final Thoughts

So, what’s the ideal timeframe to kick off your SAT prep?

Ideally, you should start putting in the hard work about 6 to 12 months before your target test date.

But before you rush to the preparation, it’s important to understand the SAT requirements of the universities you’re applying to. Based on that, you should plan ahead.

In 2024, there are universities in the US that have waived SAT. Like:

  • Stanford University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Brown University
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Duke University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Arizona

At the same time, some students studying in the USA may encounter institutions that demand applicants to have above 1400 in this test. Like:

  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Wellesley College
  • Barnard College
  • Hamilton College
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Southern California

Researching university-by-university requirements by yourself and preparing for the SAT alone can be overwhelming for students.

A better option is to seek expert help. Talk to overseas education consultants in Kolkata, like Frame Learning. Discuss with them the admission requirements of your dream universities, how to prepare for the SAT, and what to expect from the admission application process.

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