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Lucas Fink

Three Month SAT Study Schedule

Note: This study schedule was updated in 2016 for New SAT prep. 🙂

New SAT: Weekly Three Month Study Plan

This is really the sweet spot for being well prepared. If you’re taking the SAT in 3 months, you have just enough time to become an expert on the test and not let your grades suffer (especially if you’re on summer break). But with this amount of time, it can be tough to stay focused. The best way to stay on track is with a schedule, and since you’re here, I think we can safely say that’s working out for you too. So great––you have exactly what you need to ace the test! Provided you have some good study material, that is.

If you have less time before your test, you might want to check out the one–month schedule instead.

 
3 Month Study Schedule for the New SAT

The new SAT is a different beast: it won’t be all about taking a lot of practice tests to hone your performance; it’ll be about learning lots of fundamentals, from math to reading.

With that in mind, I’ve devised a New SAT Study Schedule that will help you not only become a better test taker, but also become someone far more skilled at reading and math. After all, the new test is designed to measure how much high school math you remember and how well you can handle a wealth of ideas packed into a 700-word passage.
 

How This New SAT Study Plan is Organized

This plan is broken up on a weekly basis. The intention is not for you to knock everything out in one sitting. Rather, you should spread the prep out over the week, studying in 45 to 90 minute chunks. Some weeks are lighter than others, but as the test approaches, I’ve ramped up the study sessions. In the beginning, you might only be spending 4-5 hours per week on the study schedule; as the test nears you might be spending as many as 8 hours per week.

You should not feel that you always have to study math and verbal separately. In fact, it is advantageous to make sure that each study session contains a mixture of the two, since it is good to get in the habit of having your brain switch back and forth between math and verbal, the way it will on the real test. So while the plan breaks up math and verbal into separate sections, this is for convenience’s sake, so that is easier for you to navigate.

The plan is also broken up between “review” and “practice”. Don’t feel your study sessions should be broken up this way. You’ll want to do a little review and then a little practice. That practice doesn’t always have to relate directly to what you’ve just reviewed (that’s why I’ve assigned Magoosh prep questions at random). This way, you’ll be ready for whatever the test throws at you, instead of always being too comfortable because you know which concept each question is testing (i.e., the concept you’ve just drilled).

One last thing: if you can’t finish everything in the first week, don’t despair. You can move on to the following week without having to complete all the work. I’ve arranged the weeks so that they focus on one area. I try to give you as much practice as I think is helpful in a one-week period. Falling a bit short won’t hurt you. In fact, you can always revisit previous weeks later on — a good way of reviewing.
 

Materials & Resources

 

Magoosh New SAT Prep

That’s us! Our New SAT Prep includes lessons and questions that you will work through, thereby increasing your SAT efficiency.
 

You can also now study with us on your phone. Our SAT Test Prep App makes taking your studying on-the-go easy for both iPhone and Android users.

Magoosh High School Blog

An invaluable (and free!) resource. If you want extra help on a section or general advice, you can search for posts relating to the New SAT (make sure you don’t click on posts relating to the old SAT!). This section of the blog is completely dedicated to the Redesigned (New) SAT.
 

*The Official SAT Study Guide (2016 Edition)

This is the SAT bible–questions created by the writers of the test (the College Board). You’ll have plenty of practice tests and content to give you a sense of the actual difficulty and complexity of the test (it’s more difficult than the content found in the other books). Find it on Amazon for under $20.
 

    We also have Official SAT Study Guide video explanations to the College Board questions. Check them out!

 

Official SAT Practice by College Board + Khan Academy

This is a free resource offered in conjunction with the College Board, which is the company that designs the SAT. Perhaps the best part of the College Board/Khan Academy partnership is that it brings us practice materials that are completely free. These free materials include the same practice tests offered in The Official SAT Study Guide. Really, the only new things you are paying for when you purchase the The Official SAT Study Guide are the explanations that come in the back of the book (which aren’t that great anyhow). So…

*Unless, you like working offline and/or just love the smell of books, you might want to stick to the free practice tests, and not purchase The Official Guide — which, again, contains the exact same tests found on the Khan Academy site.

Here is a direct link to the free practice tests.
 

Barron’s Strategies and Practice for the NEW PSAT/NMSQT

Yes, this book is intended for the new suite of PSAT exams. But there simply isn’t much content out there for the New SAT (at least, not in book form). The PSAT is virtually identical to the SAT. The content might be a tad easier, but this is good preparation for when you take the College Board tests that come later in this study schedule. Find this book on Amazon for about $10.
 

Supplemental Reading

As I mentioned, doing well on this new SAT isn’t just about cracking open an SAT prep book and practicing. You’ll also want to do a lot of extra reading. The point is to expose yourself to the types of ideas and syntax that might appear in an SAT article.

The following articles come from The New Yorker and The New York Times. The articles below give you a taste for the length and tone of the pieces you should be reading. It is best to stick with the Science & Tech and Business sections of The New Yorker since they best mirror the kinds of passages that you’ll see on the test.

For the first few weeks, I’ve provided you with enough reading. But after that, you’ll have to hunt the passages down yourself. (Just google “new york times business”, for instance, to get you to that section).

The New Yorker

The New York Times

One other resource is The Electric Typewriter. This website has pooled excellent writing from many sources (including the two above) and broken them down into easy to navigate categories. If you are struggling to find reading from The New Yorker or The New York Times, I highly recommend this website. Here are some articles that might be interesting:

When you read these articles, you should be in a quiet place. You shouldn’t just be skimming to finish the articles — you won’t improve this way. Instead, force yourself (yes, it won’t be easy at first) to come up with a quick mental summary of each piece. Something along the lines of:

The article talks about the power of ancient tsunamis to dramatically alter the landscape, but that scientists can’t determine if these big waves have global implications, the way volcanos or global warming does.”

If you struggle to come up with a mental summary, write or type a quick one the way I just did.


One quick note

Magoosh has many, many lesson videos. So not all of them were included. What I tried to do was to include math that was more on the advanced side, and of course aligned with what the new SAT is testing. The videos I didn’t tend to include were the ones that tested more basic concepts (roots, integer properties, percents and ratios, etc.) These concepts will definitely be tested. In fact, they’ll be all over the math section. So if you need a refresher or your math is a little shaky, weave these basic lessons into the study schedule. To make sure your fundamentals are strong from the ge go, you’ll want to cover these videos in the first couple of weeks.

Ready to study? Let’s get started!
 

Week 1: Meet the Test

 

Math

  • “Algebra, Equations, and Inequalities” Lessons
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Watch up to “Factoring – Combined” (8 total lessons)
  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 10 random practice questions (click “practice” on the top toolbar)

 

Verbal

  • Verbal Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Watch all four Reading lessons< (located at the top of the right column of the Lessons page)
      • Watch the lesson videos on Sentence Structure
  • Verbal Practice
    • Magoosh
      • One reading passage (10-11 questions)
      • One writing passage in Magoosh (11 questions)

Supplemental Reading

 

Week 2

 

Math

  • Math Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Watch until the end of the “Algebra, Equations, and Inequalities section (it’s the part that’s bolded). Remember, don’t watch the Magoosh videos one after another without actually doing any practice questions. Also, feel free to skip or quickly move through videos in which you are familiar with the material.
  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 10 random practice questions (click “practice” on the top toolbar)

 

Verbal

  • Verbal Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Watch all of the Writing videos all the way up to “Effective Language Use” (located on the Lessons page, in the right column under Reading)
  • Verbal Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from any two writing passages (22 questions total)
      • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from any two writing passages (20-22 questions total). Re-watch any of the reading lesson videos, if necessary.

 

Supplemental Reading

 

Week 3

 

Math

  • “Passport to Advanced Math” Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Passport to Advanced Math – Trigonometry (all 9 lessons)
      • Passport to Advanced Math – Extra Topics
  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 10 random practice questions (click “practice” on the top toolbar)
    • Barron’s
      • Pg. 126-130

     

    Verbal

    • Verbal Review
      • Barron’s Grammar, pg. 53-61
    • Verbal Practice
      • Barron’s 62-75
      • Magoosh
        • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from one writing passage (11 questions total)
        • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from one writing passages (10-11 questions total). Re-watch any of the reading lesson videos, if necessary.

     

    Supplemental Reading

    Choose three medium-length articles or one long article (you can break this up over 2-3 sittings) from the sources at the beginning of the study schedule.
     

    Week 4

     

    Math

    • “Passport to Advanced Math” Review
      • Magoosh Lessons
        • Intro to Complex Numbers
        • Arithmetic with Complex Numbers
  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 30 random practice questions (click “practice” on the top toolbar)

     

    Verbal

    • Verbal Practice
      • Barron’s
        • pg. 76-79 (writing)
      • Magoosh
        • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from one writing passage (22 questions total)
        • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from one writing passages (10-11 questions total). Re-watch any of the reading lesson videos, if necessary.

     

    Supplemental Reading

    Choose three medium-length articles or one long article (you can break this up over 2-3 sittings) from the sources at the beginning of the study schedule.
     

    Week 5

    Up until now, you haven’t touched any College Board stuff. There simply isn’t that much content from the College Board, so you want to use it wisely. So far you’ve cut your teeth on practice content.

    The hope is you’ve gotten yourself up to the level where you are ready for the slightly more sophisticated stuff the College Board is going to throw at you on test day. There is only one way to find out.
     

    Practice Test #1

    (The College Board Test #1 pg. 334)

    • Time yourself.
    • Since this is your first full-length practice test, you don’t have to the do the entire test in one sitting. Though that would be ideal.
    • When you are done, make sure to follow the “how to review an SAT practice test” video guide.
    • Once you’ve assessed your weaknesses, go back over the material you’ve covered so far. For instance, you might want to revisit certain Magoosh videos or lessons covered in the other book.
    • Since you still haven’t covered every topic on the test, feel free to bounce around the Magoosh lessons, choosing the ones that address topics we’ve yet to cover. For instance, scatterplots and other graphs have yet to be covered. If you missed these questions, go to the relevant Magoosh lesson to learn more about them.
    • The entire process should take about 8-10 hours. (Weekend fun, anyone?)

     

    Week 6

     

    Math (& Verbal)

    • Math Review
      • Magoosh Lessons
        • Passport to Advanced Math – Extra Topics (all remaining topics)
        • Word Problems
          • Writing equations
          • Backsolving
          • Intro to VIC’s
          • VICs – Algebraic Approach
          • VIC’s – Picking Numbers
    • Math Practice
      • Magoosh
        • Do 15 random practice questions (randomized practice is becoming increasingly important, since you’ll be taking more practice tests now and the order on tests is randomized).
    • Math + Verbal Practice
      • Barron’s Practice Test #1
        • Begins on pg. 141
        • You can break up the test via section if that is more convenient for you. You might even want to grade and review a section at a time.

     

    Supplemental Reading

    Choose three medium-length articles or one long article (you can break this up over 2-3 sittings) from the sources at the beginning of the study schedule.
     

    Week 7

     

    Practice Test #2

    (College Board Test #2 pg. 452)

    Follow the same format as week 5.

    Assuming you have a better sense of the format, and therefore that the whole process won’t take as long, here are some Magoosh videos to watch:

    • Magoosh
      • Geometry (first five videos)
      • Coordinate Geometry (first four videos)
        • (Remember, if topics are familiar, you can speed through the video)
      • pg. 184-189

     

    No supplemental reading
     

    Week 8

     

    Math

    • Math Review
      • Magoosh Lessons
        • Finish geometry lessons
    • Math Practice
      • Magoosh
        • Do 15 random practice questions (randomized practice is becoming increasingly important, since you’ll be taking more practice tests now and the order on tests is randomized).

     

    Verbal

    • Verbal Practice
      • Magoosh
        • 22 Writing Questions
        • 20-24 Questions

     

    Math & Verbal

    • Math + Verbal Practice
      • Barron’s Practice Test #2
        • Begins on pg. 201
        • You can break up the test via section if that is more convenient for you. You might even want to grade and review a section at a time.

     

    No supplemental reading
     

    Week 9

     

    Practice Test #3

    (College Board Test #3 pg. 564)

    Follow the same format as weeks 5 & 7.

    Assuming you have a better sense of the format, and therefore that the whole process won’t take as long, here are some Magoosh videos to watch:

    • Magoosh
      • Finish Coordinate Geometry lessons (first four videos)
      • Watch Statistics lessons
      • Watch Probability lessons

     

    Supplemental Reading

    Use however much time you have to read articles. (2 suggested)
     

    Week 10

     

    Math

    • Math Practice
      • Magoosh
        • Do 20 random practice questions

     

    Verbal

    • Verbal Practice
      • Magoosh
        • 33 Writing Questions
        • 20-24 Reading Questions

     

    Supplemental Reading

    Three articles.
     

    This is a light week. So go back and review any of the concepts that you still feel shaky on. If there was one week in which you weren’t able to cover everything, now is a good opportunity to go back and complete what you can.
     

    Week 11

     

    Practice Test #4

    (College Board PSAT Test)

    • Take the entire test
    • Grade and review the test as you did the other College Board tests

     

    Math

    • Math Review
      • Magoosh Lessons
        • Finish Coordinate Geometry Lessons

     

    Mixed Practice

    • The Official SAT Study Guide (aka The College Board book) pg. 87-326
      • The first half of this book, before the practice tests, contains practice problems and explanations.
        • Based on your weaknesses choose a part to focus on. For instance, if you’ve struggled in reading, do the practice questions that relate to reading. If you’ve struggled with math, focus on the math questions. Read the explanations once you’ve thought through your wrong answers.
        • Don’t read the text not relating to the questions. Much of this is basic strategy that the Magoosh videos (and some of the books) do a better job of explaining.

     

    Supplemental Reading

    Read three medium-length pieces or one long piece.
     

    Week 12

     

    Practice Test #5

    (College Board Test #4 pg. 564)

    Follow the same format as previous weeks.

    Assuming you have a better sense of the format, and therefore that the whole process won’t take as long, here are some Magoosh videos to watch:

    • Math Review
      • Magoosh
        • Finish Coordinate Geometry lessons (first four videos)
        • Watch Statistics lessons
        • Watch Probability lessons

     

    Supplemental Reading

    Spend however much time you have reading articles. (2 suggested)
     

    The day before your SAT

    • No studying!
    • Eat well and go to sleep early

     

    TEST DAY!

    • No studying!
    • Eat a full breakfast before leaving home
    • Read our SAT Test Day Checklist
    • Remember to Pack:
      • Several #2 pencils (NO MECHANICAL PENCILS & NO PENS)
      • Your calculator
      • A drink and a healthy-but-sugary snack
    • NO PHONES ALLOWED

     

    Good luck on your SAT! 🙂 Don’t forget to let us know how you do.

     

    About Lucas Fink

    Lucas is the teacher behind Magoosh TOEFL. He’s been teaching TOEFL preparation and more general English since 2009, and the SAT since 2008. Between his time at Bard College and teaching abroad, he has studied Japanese, Czech, and Korean. None of them come in handy, nowadays.


    12 Responses to “Three Month SAT Study Schedule”

    1. Sony says:

      Wow.. Thank you so much. I simply love it.

    2. Ella says:

      How can I get the magoosh blue book? I need it, especially for the math problems. I also need to know how much it costs or if i could get it for free since I have a magoosh account. Thank you

      • Lucas Fink Lucas says:

        “The blue book” isn’t actually a Magoosh product, I’m afraid—it’s what we call The Official Guide. I’m sorry if the study schedule was unclear about that or at all confusing! We don’t sell that book, but I do recommend buying it for the official practice tests. The cost depends on where you buy it, but it’s usually $20 – $25. I hope that helps clarify a little bit!

    3. Angeline says:

      Can we use the Magoosh online flashcards instead of Barron’s 1100 Words for this 3 month SAT schedule?

      • Lucas Fink Lucas says:

        That’s a good question! When we introduced the flashcard app, there weren’t enough words to have it completely replace Barron’s in the schedule—that’s why it wasn’t included. We have since built up the app a bit, but it’s still not quite as comprehensive as we’d like (although the words included are generally more useful than many in longer lists)—hence Barron’s staying in the daily assignments. That is, there are about 200 more Barron’s words assigned in the schedule than there are in the Magoosh flashcard app.

        So at the moment, I’d recommend using both, if possible. But if you need less vocabulary work and will be focusing on other areas, you may want to forgo the Barron’s book and use just Magoosh flashcards, yes. 🙂

    4. Yousuf Islam says:

      will there be a 3 month guide to the new sat to mimic this study plaN?
      im taking the sat june 4th!

    5. NOUMAN says:

      do I need to learn any vocabulary for the new SAT.If yes,please guide me to an app or a book which can help me because I am not a good reader and cramer

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

        The new SAT is less vocabulary-focused than older versions of the exam. Reading strategy is more important than just learning vocabulary. You want to approach your SAT Reading in a way that helps you understand the whole passage and correctly infer the meaning of words and phrases, even unfamiliar ones.

        There is still some use in studying vocabulary though. A set of flashcards or a vocabulary word list can help you check your vocabulary range. If you see a lot of words you aren’t at all familiar with in an SAT vocabulary set, you know that you need to build on your vocabulary. You can also know that you need to build really good reading strategies to deal with the unfamiliar words you will likely encounter on the exam.

        For both reading strategy and vocabulary word lists, Barron’s SAT is pretty good. Their books have excellent reading strategy advice– just be sure to use the most recent editions! And Barron’s has a great set of SAT flashcards too.

        Right here on the blog, we also have some good content for studying new SAT vocab. This new SAT vocabulary post is the best place to start.

    6. Lud says:

      OMG i just loved it so much.Thanks a lot!

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