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Chris Lele

One Week SAT Study Schedule


Note: This post has been updated with a study schedule for the NEW SAT that launched in March 2016.


This is the crash-course study schedule. I don’t recommend it to those who are scoring in the 1000 range and suddenly want to jump up to the 1300 range. For that, you’ll need more prep time (check out our 3-month study schedule).

However, if you’ve already taken the SAT and are taking it again, this will be the perfect refresher course. Or, if you are already a 4.0 student who has always excelled at standardized tests but want a little bit of “tune up”, then you’ve come to the right place.


A Quick Note on the New SAT

You’ve probably heard: the SAT has changed. There are a lot of rumors still swirling around about the new test, so I thought I’d quickly set things straight before sending you to the study plan.

First off, the new test isn’t as much about learning strategies as it is drilling concepts. So, this one-week study guide is about doing many practice tests, and not so much about learning a “system” that you have to apply to the test.

That said, try to understand the fundamentals at play in a question. If you don’t understand these, you’ll need to review them (that’s where the Magoosh lessons come into play) The Magoosh blog is also very helpful from a content standpoint. Also, you’ll want to understand why you answered a question incorrectly. Don’t just zip through these practice tests.

Finally, there is no guessing penalty on the new test. So along with far fewer trap answers, this is another reason to breathe a sigh of relief.

What the test will come down to is the following: knowledge of fundamentals and how well you can remain focused and be near the top of your game for three plus hours. That’s why this study schedule will have you do many timed practice sections and a full-length practice test.

Materials and 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.

  • 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 that has questions created by the writers of the test (the College Board). You’ll have four full-length practice tests, which 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).

You won’t have to go through all four tests in one week (I’m not that evil!) but, almost everything you’ll need from a practice question standpoint point is found in this book. Find it on Amazon for under $20.

We also have Official SAT Study Guide video explanationsto 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 partnershipis 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.


About this study schedule

There are two things that I want you to do on daily basis that will end up making a significant difference on your score.

Important thing #1

Okay, bear with me one second while I make an analogy. A few years ago, I did this crazy obstacle course challenge that involved jumping into a tub filled with ice and wading 20-feet through bone-chilling water.

I hate cold water. Like really hate. I knew I had to somehow build up my tolerance. So, a week leading up to the race, first thing I did each morning was make my shower as cold as possible and stand under it for three minutes. The first two days I almost died. By the fifth day, though, it wasn’t really that bad. On race day, I remember exiting from the tub, thinking (“that was it?”)

So what’s the cold tub of water in this analogy? The reading passage. The first thing you will do every morning is read a full-length SAT passage and complete the questions that follow it. This will take exactly 15 minutes. The first day it will be hellish, but come test day, and the first thing you’ll have to do when you open your test booklet is a 65-minute reading section, it won’t be that bad (you might even think, “that was it”).

On the other hand, you can skip this part of the study schedule, but don’t blame me if your brain is still half asleep on Saturday morning and drifting off during the 18th century passage about competing systems of democracy.

Important thing #2

I’ll spare you an analogy here. Instead, I’ll come out and say it: Get a mental math app on your phone.

(If you are one of those very few armed without a smartphone, then use the Internet instead).

Whenever you have a down moment, start knocking out some mental math. Sure it will hurt at first (cue the cold shower metaphor), but in seven short days you can go from “my brain hurts from 17 + 9” to “bring it on 17 x 9”)

Of course, structure is great. So I’ll slip in a 15-minute mental prep for each day.


An all out sprint

You got to be pretty amped up to deal with this schedule. I’m not going to give you a couple of easy things for you to check off each day, telling you that’ll be enough to see a score increase in one measly week. So pedal to the metal, as they say.

You’ll be spending 2-3 hours on the weekend and about 90 minutes on the week days. I’ve set this up so that Day 1 corresponds to a Saturday, Day 2 a Sunday, and so on. Day 7 will be the day before the SAT (you’ll get a little bit of a study reprieve for that day).

If you can’t finish quite everything on a given day, don’t fret. Just do as much as you can. For the next day, always do just that days work. For example, if you don’t finish day 2’s work, on day 3 just do the work for that day. Don’t “carry over” one day into another.


Day 1

This is the big day. Turn off all electronic gadgets and for the next three hours commit yourself to the SAT.

  • You will do the first test in the Official Guide, pg. 334-388. 

 Give yourself the exact time for each section. If you finish early, you can move to the next section, but don’t go back. Test day you won’t be able to move on to the following section until the proctor has called time. This will give you time to rest if you finish early. Even if you finish early on this practice test, I suggest resting, but if you don’t finish with much time, avoid the temptation to rest. Remember, the ice cold shower? This will hurt the first time, but it will be invaluable preparation for the test you will take a week later.

After you are finishing do the following:

  1. Grade the test
  2. Figure out your score
  3. Review a few of the questions you missed trying to figure out why you got them wrong.
  4. Write down 2-3 things you’ll do differently for the next test.
  5. Write down a reasonable target score you hope to get on the real test. (Shooting for 50-100 points over, given the one-week constraint, seems pretty reasonable).


Day 2

  1. “Wake-up Passage” pg. 119-126
  1. Watch three Magoosh lesson videos of your choice*
  1. Math section pg. 482-489
  1. Writing section 468-481

(Whenever you miss a question, go back and figure out, to the best of your ability, why you missed a question. Though you won’t always be able to do this, just by trying to work it out will help with your performance next time around).

*Based on practice test performance, choose an area or areas that you need the most work on. For instance, if you’re writing score was much lower than your reading score, you might want to focus on writing fundamentals.


Day 3

  1. “Wake-up” reading passage, pg. 452
  2. Two more reading sections (pg. 455-463)
  3. Math section pg. 491-503
  4. Watch 2-3 Magoosh lessons of your choosing (it might be a good idea to find videos relating to any of the concepts or fundamentals you struggle with during the practice sets)


Day 4

  1. Wake up” reading passage, pg. 466
  2. Writing section, pg. 578-584 (1-22)
  3. Math section pg. 595-601
  4. Watching 2-3 Magoosh lessons (in general, you can intersperse these videos anywhere in the day’s practice questions)


Day 5

  1. “Wake up” reading passage
  2. Reading section, pg. 564-569
  3. Writing section, pg. 585-594
  4. Math section, pg. 602-617
  5. Watch 2-3 Magoosh lesson videos
  6. Mental math, 15 minutes


Day 6

  1. “Wake up” reading passage, pg. 572-574
  2. Writing section, pg. 690-703
  3. Watch 2-3 Magoosh lessons
  4. Mental math 15 minutes


Day 7

  1. “Wake up” reading passage, pg. 575-577
  2. Math section, pg. 704-711
  3. Mental math 15-minutes



  • 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

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


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About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 8 million views.

You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog!

You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

15 Responses to “One Week SAT Study Schedule”

  1. muza khan says:

    hii, my sat is on 7 june and i just registered for it and i am taking it for the 1st time how much hour should i study to score 2100 or up is it possible.

    • Lucas Fink Lucas says:

      It is possible, yes, but it depends very heavily on your “starting score”—how well you would do on the test now, before preparation. If you took a test today and scored a 2050, then I’d say it is possible to reach above 2100. If you took a test today and got a 1500, it would be basically impossible to make a 600 point increase in 10 days. The SAT is a big test that includes a lot of information and different skills; you cannot cram for it in 10 days time and expect a large improvement, I’m afraid. That’s not to say you can’t improve in that time period—you absolutely can—but how much improvement you make depends on how much time you spend.

  2. Jaz says:

    I got a 1370 on my SAT the first time I took it because of little preparation and the fact that I had to study for my AP classes. I’m taking it in exactly a week and if I take studying seriously will I be able to raise it to 1500?

    • Lucas Fink Lucas says:

      It’s certainly possible that your score could go up that much, but one week is really not enough time that I can guarantee an improvement that large; the SAT is a very large test! That said, every bit of studying you can do in the next week will help, so it’s definitely worth giving it your best try.

  3. Yasmine says:

    I got an 1820 on my SAT and i’m taking it again on December 5th. Is it possible to raise it to a 2150 or higher?

    • Rita Neumann Rita Kreig says:

      Hi Yasmine,

      It’s definitely possible! You’ll have to dedicate a lot of time to your SAT prep in order to make a jump that big, though, so I highly recommend investing in some test prep that you can do every single day before your exam. Check out sat.magoosh.com to learn more about our online test prep options. We have a monthly plan which could be great for you. 🙂

      Good luck with your prep!! I hope you get your goal score.


  4. mohamed khalaf says:

    My SAT exam is on december 5 
    so i have 13 days left 
    if i finish this schedule, i will have 5 or 6 days left 
    What should I do in these 5 days ? 

  5. Munawar Khan says:

    My SAT exam is on January 23, 2016 and I am left with 8 days my actual practice score is 1200 an I want to raise it upto 1800 plz suggest me about how can i raise my score 

    • Rita Neumann Rita Kreig says:

      Hi Munawar,

      You’re definitely in the right place! Our One Week SAT Study Schedule is great for last-minute prep. It uses resources from our Magoosh SAT Prep and the College Board’s Blue Book to help you prepare for the exam. If you start today, you’ll even have an extra day to review before your test.

      Best of luck with your prep!

  6. Shreyas says:

    Hi my sat is on 1 oct and I scored 1200 in my practice test will I be able to get near 1350 in 2 weeks of study? The new sat…

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

      Going all the way up from 1200 to 1350 in just two weeks is a tall order. Doing this would be very difficult, but not necessarily impossible. Sometimes students miss a lot of SAT questions due to poor multiple choice strategy and not because they still need to learn more academic content. My advice is to focus on SAT multiple choice strategies first and academic content second. This is the best way to boost your score as much as possible in a short time. Will it get you all the way to 1350? That’s hard to say. But it’s definitely worth attempting. If you have time after the test, come back and let us know how things went!

  7. billizs says:

    please I am writing on Nov 5th for the new sat how can I improve my score from 1110 — 1300 in 9 days.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

      In all honesty, it’s very difficult to boost your score by that much in just 9 days. For the fastest possible score increase, I recommend focusing on test strategies and test skills rather than academic content. Strategies and skills can be learned more quickly than specific information about math, grammar, literary devices, etc…. But again, even with a skills-strategy approach, you’re not guaranteed to get all the way up to 1300 int hat short of a time. Still, it doesn’t hurt to try. Good luck!

  8. Varun says:

    Hey, I already took the SAT once and I got a 530 in reading and 740 in math. I really want to improve my reading score with 1 week. As of now I get 35/52 in my reading tests. Any advice to improve my SAT reading score?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

      The first thing I’ll tell you is that there’s definitely a limit on how much you can improve your SAT Reading score (or your score on any SAT section) in just one week. To boost your score as much as possible, I recommend focusing on strategy. Test strategy can be learned a lot faster than overall reading skill. Focus on multiple choice strategies in SAT reading. Magoosh actually has a three part post on SAT Reading multiple strategies that you can check out: SAT Reading Multiple Choice Strategies, Part 1; SAT Reading Multiple Choice Strategies, Part 2; SAT Reading Multiple Choice Strategies, Part 3.

      Also work on more basic reading skills like skimming (quickly looking at a passage for the main ideas) and scanning (quickly looking through the passage for keywords related tot he questions. These skills can be built up very quickly with a few days’ practice, which can really help you improve your score.

      If you focus on test strategies, skimming and scanning for the next week, I’m confident you can improve your SAT Reading score. Exactly how much you can improve your score is a little unpredictable of course. Good luck!

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