Study Plan for the SAT

All SAT experts will agree that the single most important resource for SAT preparation is The Official SAT Study Guide, a book published by the makers of the SAT. Often referred to as “The Blue Book,” it is a crucial component of your study plans because it is the only book with real test questions. That’s why all PowerScore students receive a copy of this book when they enroll in a course or in tutoring.

Some students may choose to study independently using the Blue Book. This may be an worthwhile endeavor for highly-motivated test takers, but many are unsure where or how to start. How early should they start practicing the essay? Which section should they spend the most time on? How many full length practice tests should be taken? PowerScore has created the following Summer Self-Study Plan to help those students implement an effective study schedule this summer.

The following study plan contain 12 Weeks. Students who start studying more than 12 Weeks prior to an SAT can adapt the plan to fit their schedule as needed.

If you have any questions about the plan or SAT preparation, you can reach us at sat@powerscore.com. Happy studying!

Week 1: Introduction and Passage-Based Reading

  • Introduce yourself to the SAT by reading Chapters 1 and 2 of the Blue Book (pages 3-20).
  • Read Chapter 4: About the Critical Reading Section (pages 29-30).
  • Read and complete Chapter 6: Passage-based Reading (pages 49-86).
  • Complete pages 459-462 and 476-480.

Take three timed sections from Practice Test 4 (Section 2 on page 576, Section 5 on page 587, and Section 8 on page 605). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed. It is imperative that you understand why you struggled with a question. Was it a word in the answer choice? A phrase in the passage? You can compute your Reading score using pages 621-623. Be sure to only count the questions you completed before time was called when scoring the sections.

Print the PowerScore Repeat Offenders Flash Cards and begin studying the Top 200 Repeat Offender vocabulary words. Remove any words to which you already know the definition and study the ones you do not know. Once you master these cards, move to the remaining decks in the following order: Easy, Medium, People, Hard, and Extreme. It is most important to cover the first 4 decks before the end of summer; the Hard and Extreme words do not have to be memorized.

Begin reading and analyzing one passage a day as explained in the SAT Free Help Area. Continue this practice throughout your 12 weeks of study.

Week 2: Arithmetic

  • Read Chapter 14: About the Mathematics Section (pages 217-225).
  • Read pages 303-304 and 343-346 (on Multiple Choice and Student-Produced Response Questions).
  • Read and complete Chapter 15: Number and Operations Review (pages 227-242).
  • Complete all of the questions in the Arithmetic Database that occur before page 555 (save questions that occur after page 555 for timed practice sessions). For example, look at the questions involving “Remainders” on the database page. You would only do the first one, as it appears on page 399. The other three questions appear after page 555.
  • Take three timed sections from Practice Test 4 (Section 3 on page 581, Section 6 on page 593, and Section 9 on page 609). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed. It is imperative that you understand why you struggled with a question. You can compute your Math score using pages 621-623. Be sure to only count the questions you completed before time was called when scoring the sections.
  • Print the PowerScore SAT Math Bible Flash Cards and begin studying the cards that involve formulas, definitions, or other material covered in the Number and Operations Review chapter.
  • Continue reading and analyzing one passage a day from the SAT Free Help Area.
  • Complete pages 488-490 (Passage-based Reading).
  • Continue studying the PowerScore Repeat Offender flash cards.
  • If you struggled with the math presented this week, consider adding The SAT Math Bible to your study plans. This comprehensive text not only explains the content tested, but also shows how that content is applied on the SAT. With over 375 practice questions, it is the ultimate math preparation book.

Week 3: Sentence Completion

  • Read and complete Chapter 5: Sentence Completion (pages 31-48).
  • Complete pages 390, 402, 425, 458, 475, 487, 520, 537, and 549.
  • Take three timed sections from Practice Test 5 (Section 3 on page 644, Section 7 on page 662, and Section 9 on page 672). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed. It is imperative that you understand why you struggled with a question. You can compute your Reading score using pages 683-685. Be sure to only count the questions you completed before time was called when scoring the sections.
  • Continue reading and analyzing one passage a day from the SAT Free Help Area.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore Repeat Offender flash cards.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Math Bible Flash Cards.

Week 4: Algebra and Algebra II

  • Read and complete Chapter 16: Algebra and Functions Review (pages 243-262).
  • Complete all of the questions in the Algebra Database and the Algebra II Database that occur before page 555.
  • Take three timed sections from Practice Test 5 (Section 2 on page 638, Section 4 on page 650, and Section 8 on page 667). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed. It is imperative that you understand why you struggled with a question. You can compute your Math score using pages 683-685. Be sure to only count the questions you completed before time was called when scoring the sections.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Math Bible Flash Cards and add all Algebra and Algebra II concept cards to your stack.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore Repeat Offender flash cards.
  • Continue reading and analyzing one passage a day from the SAT Free Help Area.
  • Complete pages 521-524 (Passage-based Reading).
  • Feeling like you need a more help with the content? Consider a Home Study Package from PowerScore.

Week 5: The Essay

  • Read Chapter 8: About the Writing Section (pages 99-102).
  • Read and complete Chapter 9: The Essay (pages 103-135).
  • Take a timed essay from Practice Test 1 (page 389).
  • Take a timed essay from Practice Test 2 (page 451).
  • Take a timed essay from Practice Test 3 (page 513).
  • After each essay, assign it a score based on the rubric on page 105 and the examples on pages 120-135). Then reproduce your essay in a thread on College Confidential and ask the students there to score and critique your essay.
  • Take three timed sections from Practice Test 4 (Section 1 on page 575, Section 7 on page 599, and Section 10 on page 614). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed. It is imperative that you understand why you struggled with a question. You can compute your Writing score by self-scoring your essay and using pages 621-625. Be sure to only count the questions you completed before time was called when scoring the multiple choice sections.
  • Continue reading and analyzing one passage a day from the SAT Free Help Area.
  • Complete pages 538-542 (Passage-based Reading).
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Math Bible Flash Cards.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore Repeat Offender flash cards.

Week 6: Geometry and Coordinate Geometry

  • Read and complete Chapter 17: Geometry and Measurement Review (pages 263-289).
  • Complete all of the questions in the Geometry Database and the Coordinate Geometry Database that occur before page 555.
  • Take three timed sections from Practice Test 6 (Section 2 on page 700, Section 4 on page 712, and Section 8 on page 729). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed. It is imperative that you understand why you struggled with a question. You can compute your Math score using pages 745-747. Be sure to only count the questions you completed before time was called when scoring the sections.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Math Bible Flash Cards and add all Geometry and Coordinate Geometry concept cards to your stack.
  • Continue reading and analyzing one passage a day from the SAT Free Help Area.
  • Take a timed Reading section from Practice Test 6 (Section 3 on page 706). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore Repeat Offender flash cards.
  • There is still time to raise your Math Score using the PowerScore SAT Math Bible!

Week 7: Grammar I

  • Read and complete Chapter 10: Improving Sentences (pages 137-152).
  • Read and complete Chapter 11: Identifying Sentence Errors (pages 153-168).
  • Complete pages 407-410, 429-431, 469-472, 491-493, 531-535 (through question 29), and 553-555.
  • Take three timed sections from Practice Test 5 (Section 1 on page 637, Section 6 on page 656, and Section 10 on page 676). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed. It is imperative that you understand why you struggled with a question. You can compute your Writing score by self-scoring your essay and using pages 683-687. Be sure to only count the questions you completed before time was called when scoring the multiple choice sections.
  • Print the PowerScore SAT Writing Bible Flash Cards and begin studying the common “Alarm Bells” that signal an error in the Writing multiple choice questions.
  • Continue reading and analyzing one passage a day from the SAT Free Help Area.
  • Take a timed Reading section from Practice Test 6 (Section 7 on page 724). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Math Bible Flash Cards.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore Repeat Offender flash cards.
  • By now, many students have realized how difficult it is to discover the question patterns in the SAT. Leave the hard work to PowerScore experts who have already analyzed the test and can offer you the secrets to success. Look for a PowerScore course in your area today!

Week 8: Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability

  • Read and complete Chapter 18: Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability Review (pages 291-302).
  • Complete all of the questions in the Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probablity Database that occur before page 555.
  • Take three timed sections from Practice Test 7 (Section 3 on page 768, Section 7 on page 785, and Section 9 on page 795). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed. It is imperative that you understand why you struggled with a question. You can compute your Math score using pages 807-907. Be sure to only count the questions you completed before time was called when scoring the sections.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Math Bible Flash Cards and add all Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability concept cards to your stack.
  • Continue reading and analyzing one passage a day from the SAT Free Help Area.
  • Take a timed Reading section from Practice Test 6 (Section 9 on page 734). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore Repeat Offender flash cards.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Writing Bible Flash Cards.

Week 9: Grammar 2

  • Read and complete Chapter 12: Improving Paragraphs (pages 169-188).
  • Complete pages 411-412, 473-474, and 535-536.
  • Take three timed Writing sections from Practice Test 6 (Section 1 on page 699, Section 6 on page 718, and Section 10 on page 738). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed. It is imperative that you understand why you struggled with a question. You can compute your Writing score by self-scoring your essay and using pages 683-687. Be sure to only count the questions you completed before time was called when scoring the multiple choice sections.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Writing Bible Flash Cards.
  • Continue reading and analyzing one passage a day from the SAT Free Help Area.
  • Take a timed Reading section from Practice Test 7 (Section 2 on page 762). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Math Bible Flash Cards.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore Repeat Offender flash cards.
  • Pick up a classic novel to read in the month prior to the test. Students report that this strategy helps them focus on fictional passages and subliminally teaches them new vocab. You can find a list of PowerScore recommended books in our Free Help Area.

Week 10: Review

  • Read and complete Chapter 7: Practice for the Critical Reading Section (pages 87-96).
  • Read and complete Chapter 13: Practice for the Writing Section (pages 189-214).
  • Read and complete Chapter 19: Multiple Choice Questions (pages 303-340).
  • Read and complete Chapter 20: Student-Produced Response Questions (pages 343-364).
  • Read and complete Chapter 21: Practice for the Mathematics Section (pages 365-376).
  • Take three timed Writing sections from Practice Test 7 (Section 1 on page 761, Section 4 on page 774, and Section 10 on page 801). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed. It is imperative that you understand why you struggled with a question. You can compute your Writing score by self-scoring your essay and using pages 683-687. Be sure to only count the questions you completed before time was called when scoring the multiple choice sections.
  • Take two timed Reading sections from Practice Test 7 (Section 5 on page 780 and Section 8 on page 791). Time yourself and mark where you are when time is called. Then finish the remainder of the section untimed. Check your answers and review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Math Bible Flash Cards.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore Repeat Offender flash cards.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Writing Bible Flash Cards.

Weeks 11-12: Full Length Timed Practice Tests

  • In the final two weeks, take three full practice tests: Test 8 on page 813, Test 9 on page 875, and Test 10 on page 937. Time yourself on all sections and compute your score at the end of the test. Review any questions you missed or answers you correctly guessed.
  • Review content chapters from the Blue Book as needed.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Math Bible Flash Cards.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore Repeat Offender flash cards.
  • Continue studying the PowerScore SAT Writing Bible Flash Cards.
  • Do not study the day before the SAT. Cramming the day before the SAT can cause fatigue and poor performance.
  • Eat a healthy dinner rich in complex carbohydrates the night before the test. Also get a good night’s sleep. Aim for at least 8 hours of shut-eye in order to reach your full potential on test day. Good luck!
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