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One Month SAT Study Schedule

One Month SAT Study Schedule

Alright, so you have a month until your SAT and you want the highest score you can get. No average SAT score for you. Unless it’s the summer right now, you also have to balance SAT prep with schoolwork, and that’s not easy to do. But look at it this way: in four weeks, you’re going to make a significant difference in the strength of your college application.  Can you do that in any one class? Probably not.

That being said, don’t let your grades slip noticeably in order to make time for the SAT. You have to strike a balance.

 

How the schedule is organized

Because we want to leave time for school homework, we’re only going to do three real study days per week.

You should spend 1.5 – 3 hours on SAT prep each of those study days. I’ve set it up so those will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but modify to fit your schedule. As I have it, Tuesday and Thursday (days 2 and 4) are devoted to building vocabulary and reading up on SAT strategy. Those days should only take about an hour of studying or less.

On the weekends, you’ll take practice tests and review. Each test takes about 4 hours.

Do you want to receive this schedule in the form of weekly email reminders? Sign up here! :)

 

Materials:

 

How to Use Magoosh’s Materials

Lesson Videos: Magoosh’s lessons cover everything you’ll see on your SAT, and the SAT is a big test. That means there may be many topics in the math section that you’re already comfortable with, and it’s not an effective use of your study time to trudge through hours and hours of lessons you don’t need. Instead, we want to pinpoint where you do need work and spend the most time on those skills. That doesn’t mean you should just skip any video you think will be too easy, though; watch the first minute of a video first. If you still feel like you’re comfortable with the topic, skip ahead to about 2/3 the way through the video. If you’re not completely clear on what the instructor is explaining at that point, go back to the beginning and watch the whole video. On the other hand, if you skip ahead and still feel like it’s easy stuff, then move on! Seeing just a bit of the video was good review, but there’s no need to linger on it.

That doesn’t mean you should be skipping every lesson to save time, though. Even if you’ve seen a topic in math class before, if you’re not certain you could make the lesson video, it’s a good idea to review.

Practice questions: For each Magoosh problem, after you submit your answer, on the next page it tells you whether you were right or wrong, there’s also a video explanation and below that a text summary. If you got the question right, skim the text summary to verify you got it right for the right reason. If you got the question wrong, watch the video, taking a note of what went wrong.

 

Week 1, Day 1

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Word Problems: “Intro to Word Problems” – “Number of Variables”
    • Math Arithmetic, Percents, & Ratios: “Properties of Real Numbers” – “Words Problems with Fractions”
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 30 Math Problems set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Powers & Roots, Word Problems, and Algebra
    • 10 Writing  Questions

Week 1, Day 2

Week 1, Day 3

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Powers and Roots: “Intro to Exponents” – “Square Roots”
    • Verbal Passage-Based Reading: “Passage Types” – “Wrong Answers”
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 10 Math Problems set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Powers & Roots, Word Problems, and Algebra
    • 20 Reading Questions
    • 10 Writing  Questions
  • Vocab

Week 1, Day 4

Week 1, Day 5

  • Magoosh Lessons 
    • Math Powers and Roots: “Other Roots” – “Rationalizing”
    • Writing “Identifying Sentence Errors” – “Subject-Verb Agreement”
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 20 Math Problems set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Powers & Roots, Word Problems, and Algebra
    • 10 Reading Questions
    • 10 Writing  Questions 
  • Vocab

Week 1 Weekend

  • Practice Test – College Board Blue Book Test #1
    • You need four hours of COMPLETE SOLITUDE for this. No phone, no music, no internet, and no TV! Try to mimic the conditions of the test as closely as possible.
    • After checking your answers in the blue book, watch explanation videos for wrong answers on the Magoosh Youtube page 
    • Ask a parent, teacher, older sibling, or very literary friend to read and comment on your essay. Focus especially on the clarity of your argument, the explanation of your examples, and your use of academic English.
  • Review 10-20 incorrect responses in Magoosh
  • Review mastered flashcard decks for 20-30 minutes

Week 2, Day 1

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Algebra, Equations, and Inequalities: “Intro to Algebra” – “Absolute Value Equations”
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 30 Math Problems set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Powers & Roots, Word Problems, Algebra, Percents & Ratios, and Geometry
    • 10 Writing  Questions

Week 2, Day 2

Week 2, Day 3

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Arithmetic, Percents, & Ratios: “Intro to Percents” – “Ratios and Rates”
    • Verbal Passage-Based Reading: “Example Passage” & “Basic Strategies”
    • Verbal Sentence Completion: “Basic Strategies” – “Sentence Shifts”
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 10 Math Problems set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Powers & Roots, Word Problems, Algebra, Percents & Ratios, and Geometry
    • 20 Reading Questions
    • 10 Writing  Questions
  • Vocab

Week 2, Day 4

Week 2, Day 5

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Geometry: “Lines and Angles” – “Similar Triangles”
    • Writing “Comma Splice” – “False Comparisons”
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 20 Math Problems set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Powers & Roots, Word Problems, Algebra, Percents & Ratios, and Geometry
    • 10 Reading Questions
    • 10 Writing  Questions
  • Vocab

Week 2 Weekend

  • Practice Test – College Board Blue Book Test #2
    • You need four hours of COMPLETE SOLITUDE for this. No phone, no music, no internet, and no TV! Try to mimic the conditions of the test as closely as possible.
    • Ask a parent, teacher, older sibling, or very literary friend to read and comment on your essay. Focus especially on the clarity of your argument, the explanation of your examples, and your use of academic English.
  • Review 10-20 incorrect responses in Magoosh
  • Review mastered flashcard decks for 20-30 minutes

Week 3, Day 1

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Word Problems: “Age Questions” – “VICs – Picking Numbers”
    • Math Probabiltity: All five videos
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 30 Math Problems set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Powers & Roots, Word Problems, Algebra, Percents & Ratios, Geometry, Statistics, and Integer Properties
    • 10 Writing  Questions

Week 3, Day 2

Week 3, Day 3

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Algebra, Equations, and Inequalities: “Function Notation” – “Inequalities and Absolute Values”
    • Verbal Passage-Based Reading: “Line Reference” – “Tone”
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 10 Math Problems set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Powers & Roots, Word Problems, Algebra, Percents & Ratios, Geometry, Statistics, and Integer Properties
    • 20 Reading Questions
    • 10 Writing  Questions
  • Vocab

Week 3, Day 4

Week 3, Day 5

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Geometry: “Quadrilaterals” – “Geometry Strategies Part II”
    • Writing “Adverbs” – “Semi-colons”
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 20 Math Problems set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Powers & Roots, Word Problems, Algebra, Percents & Ratios, Geometry, Statistics, and Integer Properties
    • 10 Reading Questions
    • 10 Writing  Questions
  • Vocab

Week 3 Weekend

  • Practice Test – College Board Blue Book Test #3
    • You need four hours of COMPLETE SOLITUDE for this. No phone, no music, no internet, and no TV! Try to mimic the conditions of the test as closely as possible.
    • Ask a parent, teacher, older sibling, or very literary friend to read and comment on your essay. Focus especially on the clarity of your argument, the explanation of your examples, and your use of academic English.
  • Review 10-20 incorrect responses in Magoosh
  • Review mastered flashcard decks for 20-30 minutes

Week 4, Day 1

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Integer Properties: All videos
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 30 Math Problems set for: All
    • 10 Writing  Questions

Week 4, Day 2

Week 4, Day 3

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Coordinate Geometry: All videos
    • Verbal Passage-Based Reading: “Oddball Questions” & “Except Questions”
    • Verbal Sentence Completion: “Elaboration Sentences” – “Difficult Questions”
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 10 Math Problems set for: All
    • 20 Reading Questions
    • 10 Writing  Questions
  • Vocab

Week 4, Day 4

(Instead of a blog & vocab day, we’re going to do our last study day early. That way, you don’t end up studying the night before test day!)

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math Statistics & Counting: All videos
    • Writing: “Concision and Wordiness” – “Who vs. Whom”
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 20 Math Problems set for: All
    • 10 Reading Questions
    • 10 Writing  Questions
  • Vocab
    • Review previous vocab flashcards for 15 minutes

Week 4, Day 5

 

TEST DAY!

  • Eat a full breakfast before leaving home
  • No studying!
  • Remember:
    • Several #2 pencils (NO MECHANICAL)
    • Your calculator
    • A drink & a sugary snack
    • NO PHONES ALLOWED

Or, if time left:

Week 4 Weekend

  • Practice Test – College Board Blue Book Test #4
  • Review all incorrect responses in Magoosh

Then REVIEW WEEK:

  • Review all vocabulary flash cards
  • College Board blue book Chapters 7, 13, and 21

TEST DAY!

About the Author

Lucas is an SAT and TOEFL expert at Magoosh and has been teaching standardized test preparation since 2008, including the SAT, ACT and TOEFL. He lived in Prague for two years yet speaks better Japanese than he does Czech. Follow him on Google+!

18 Responses to One Month SAT Study Schedule

  1. Sani September 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Hey Lucas,

    For daily practice I remember you mentioned McSweeney’s as a good source. What is that? I mean is it a newspaper or magazine and I found that it has different publishing, so which one is better? Also another question. Is this better or the NYT?

    Thanks for your help and advises.

    • Lucas
      Lucas September 10, 2014 at 12:04 am #

      Hi Sani,

      Good memory! That was in this post. I was referring to McSweeney’s internet columns, which are humor, and not, honestly, always the best choice. My point was that you should be reading a lot and challenging yourself. If you are challenged by a McSweeney’s column and learning new vocabulary, then it’s good practice. If not, then move on to something more difficult, such as the New Yorker, Harper’s magazine, or the NYT.

      • Sani September 24, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

        Great help thanks !!

        • Lucas
          Lucas September 29, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

          You’re welcome!

  2. Kristen May 21, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    Hi again Lucas,

    Thank you so much for this study schedule! It’s very useful. I just want to double check: if you tally up all Reading, Math and Writing Questions in the time frame that you suggest, you still don’t finish all the practice questions, correct?

    Thanks Lucas!

    • Lucas
      Lucas May 23, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

      The number of practice questions in the product and the number assigned in the schedule may vary from time to time; we often add and remove questions to keep our content as good as possible. :-) But you’re right that at the moment, the schedule assigns fewer questions than are in Magoosh. Going through all of Magoosh and all of the Blue Book in just one month is a bit tough—the goal is to assign a reasonable amount that will be enough to make improvement, and if students choose to do more than what’s assigned, they have the option of continuing.

  3. Shelley May 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    One of the main reasons I signed my daughter up for Magoosh was that I like your one month schedule that she can follow over the summer. I think your daily schedule is a great idea because it’s broken down in manageable pieces. Thanks and hopefully she will do well in October’s SAT.

    • Lucas
      Lucas May 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback, Shelley. I hope the schedule works out well for her. With enough time and energy, I’m sure she’ll nail the October test. Wish her luck on behalf of Magoosh. :-)

      Lucas

  4. sameer singh April 27, 2014 at 1:41 am #

    I have studied for IIT’s that’s a national level exam in India. i want to take SAT for future references , after looking at practice problems i found that i need to improve vocabulary as well as reading-writing skills . I have took SAT study guide ( a book published by college board ) , now i need to know which book i should read thoroughly to increase my reading, writing skills as well the vocabulary,too.
    If you have made the study schedule , then please , give me a link for that too.
    thankyou.

    • Lucas
      Lucas April 28, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

      Hi Sameer,

      The best thing you can do to improve your reading, vocabulary, and writing skills is simply to read as much as possible! Reading challenging English sources like The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and The New York Times is a great way habit to be in. Aldaily.com is a great resource. Keep reading actively—try to understand the big ideas or each paragraph and what the author is trying to communicate. Your goal is to be able to explain any article you read to anybody who asks (even if nobody does).

      If you’d like a grammar book, Barron’s is actually quite good. For vocabulary, I recommend using our own SAT flashcards. :-)

      And you can find all of our study schedules, besides the one on this page, here.

      Best,
      Lucas

  5. SHazam April 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Hey, so i want to take the SAT in june, and i haven’t studied anything :'( …. but your schedule did give me some confidence, but tell me, how much should i be expecting as my score considering i am only giving one month for this?

    • Lucas
      Lucas April 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

      That’s a tough question! I’m afraid it’s not that simple, so I don’t have a clear answer for you. How well you do on the test depends on not only your studies, but also your starting point. If you start studying and are already very comfortable with everything on the test, then your score will, clearly, be higher than if you are learning everything for the first time. It’s not just about the schedule; it’s also about what you already know and how much work you put into it! But the more you prepare, the better your score will be. And that’s what is important. Good luck!

  6. Kristen April 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    Hi Lucas!

    Great post. I was wondering: do you have some sort chart/guide in order to keep track of your score with these practice sections/tests? For example, so I can see how many I had correct/incorrect/omitted in Sentence Completions, Grid-Ins, etc. from one test to another?

    Kristen

    • Lucas
      Lucas April 18, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

      Hi Kristen,

      You know we didn’t have that before, but I thought it was such a good idea I went ahead and made a chart of practice test scores for you (and anybody else who wants it!). You can’t edit it within the googledoc, but if you download it then you can edit. :-)

      Happy studying!
      Lucas

  7. Sabrina February 21, 2014 at 12:48 am #

    Hello. I have the SAT’s scheduled in March 3 2014, and I’m scared because I didn’t study at all. After reading this, I feel better because I know I can do it in ONE month! I mean, how cool is that? Thank you so much!

    • Lucas
      Lucas February 21, 2014 at 1:29 am #

      Yeah, it’s definitely possible to bring up your score in a month—just get cracking! Happy studying, and good luck in March!

  8. hakam sukhon November 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Hey lucas, can barron 1100 book be replaced by something else?

    • Lucas
      Lucas January 8, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      Hi, Hakam!

      Yes, Barron’s can be replaced :-) It’s a great book, but we’ve actually recently released our own flashcard app which is much better for repetition and memory. I’ve just changed the schedule to include our flashcards, rather than Barron’s. (And our flashcards are free, which is a plus, isn’t it?) But it’s still a great book to supplement with if you do have access to it!

      Lucas


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