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Lucas Fink

Six Month SAT Study Schedule

six month sat study schedule-magoosh

Download this 6-Month SAT Study Schedule!

Your Weekly Six Month SAT Study Schedule

Note: This six month SAT study schedule was updated for the new SAT that launched in March 2016. 🙂

The newest version of the SAT is a different beast than the old SAT: 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 this in mind, we’ve devised a six month SAT study schedule that will help you not only become a better test taker, but transform you into someone who’s 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.

Let’s get started!

this study schedule uses Magoosh SAT prep: click here to get it

If you’re reading this post, chances are you have at least six months until you’re taking the SAT…unless, oops, you procrastinated. Never fear! If you have less time before your test, check out one of these study schedules instead:

How This 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 30- to 60-minute chunks. Some weeks are lighter than others, but as the test approaches, we’ve ramped up the study sessions. In the beginning, you might only be spending 1-3 hours per week on the study schedule; as the test nears you might be spending as many as 7 hours per week.

Be aware that there are a number of full-length practice tests sprinkled through the schedule, so you’ll need big chunks of time to devote to that: 4 hours of uninterrupted silence every few weeks.

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 just to help you keep your schedule organized.

The SAT study plan is broken up between “review” and “practice.” Don’t feel your study sessions should be broken up this way either. 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 we’ve assigned Magoosh prep questions at random. Otherwise, you’ll always be too comfortable because you know which concept each question is testing (i.e., the concept you’ve just drilled). With random questions, you’ll be ready for whatever the test throws at you.

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 and Resources for six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

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 access our SAT study plan 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.

Magoosh’s Study Timer

Magoosh’s free Study Timer app for iPhone/iPad for timing yourself on exam sections and keeping yourself on pace. Currently only available in iTunes.
 

Supplemental Reading for six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Supplemental Reading

As we 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 of the Six Month SAT Study Schedule, we’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.

 

this study schedule uses Magoosh SAT prep: click here to get it

One quick note:

Magoosh has many, many lesson videos…so not all of them were included in this six month SAT study schedule. What we’re trying to do is to include math that is more on the advanced side, and (of course) aligned with what the new SAT is testing.

The videos we 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 get go, you’ll want to cover these videos in the first couple of weeks.

Ready to study? Let’s get started!

 

Week 1 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 1:

Math

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

Supplemental Reading

 

Week 2 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 2:

Verbal

  • Verbal Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Watch all four Reading lessons (located at the top of the right column of the Lessons page)
      • Watch the Writing lessons on Sentence Structure
  • Verbal Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from any one reading passage (10-11 questions)
      • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from any one writing passage (11 questions)

Supplemental Reading

 
Week 3 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 3:

Math

  • Math Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Finish watching the Algebra, Equations, and Inequalities lessons. 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)

Supplemental Reading

 
Week 4 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 4:

Verbal

  • Verbal Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Finish watching the Writing videos (from the Usage section to the Effective Language Use section)
  • 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 reading passages (20-22 questions total). Re-watch any of the reading lesson videos, if necessary.

Supplemental Reading

 
Week 5 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 5:

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

Supplemental Reading

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

 
Week 6 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 6:

Verbal

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

Supplemental Reading

Choose two medium-length articles or one long article from the sources at the beginning of the SAT study schedule.

 
Week 7 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 7:

Math

  • “Passport to Advanced Math” Review
  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 30 random practice questions (click “practice” on the top toolbar)

Supplemental Reading

Choose two 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 8 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 8: Week off!

Use the time to catch up on anything you’ve missed.

 
Week 9 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 9:

Verbal

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

Supplemental Reading

Choose two 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 10 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 10:

Up until now, you haven’t touched any College Board stuff in this SAT study plan. 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 11 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 11:

Math

  • Math Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Passport to Advanced Math – Extra Topics (all remaining topics)
      • Word Problems
        • Writing Equations
        • Backsolving
  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 15 random practice questions. Randomized practice is becoming increasingly important in this SAT study plan, since you’ll be taking more practice tests and the order on tests is randomized.
  •  
    Week 12 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

    Week 12:

    Math & Verbal

  • 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 13 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 13:

Practice Test #2

(College Board Test #2, pg. 452)

Follow the same format as week 10. 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 Lessons
    • Geometry (first five videos, up to “Right Triangles”)
    • Coordinate Geometry (first four videos, up to “Slope”). Remember, if topics are familiar, you can speed through the video.

No supplemental reading

 
Week 14 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 14:

Math

  • Math Review
  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 15 random practice questions. Randomized practice is becoming increasingly important in this SAT study schedule, since you’ll be taking more practice tests and the order on tests is randomized.

 
Week 15 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 15:

Verbal

  • Verbal Practice
    • Magoosh
      • 22 Writing questions
      • 20-24 Reading questions

 
Week 16 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 16: Week off!

Use the time to catch up on anything you’ve missed.

 
Week 17 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 17:

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 18 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 18:

Practice Test #3

(College Board Test #3, pg. 564)

Follow the same format as weeks 10 & 13.

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 Lessons
    • Watch Coordinate Geometry lessons (next four videos, up to “Distance Between Two Points”)
    • Watch Statistics lessons

Supplemental Reading

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

 
Week 19 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 19:

Math

  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 20 random practice questions

 
Week 20 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 20:

Verbal

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

Supplemental Reading

Read 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 21 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 21:

Practice Test #4

(College Board PSAT Test)

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

 
Week 22 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 22:

Math

Supplemental Reading

Read three medium-length pieces or one long piece.

 
Week 23 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 23:

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 related to the questions. Much of this is basic strategy that the Magoosh videos (and some of the books) do a better job of explaining.

 
Week 24 of six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

Week 24:

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, you can use the remaining time to 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. You can also spend however much time you have left reading articles (two suggested).

 
Before test day in six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

The day before your SAT:

  • No studying! If you made it all the way through this six month SAT study schedule, you should be well prepared.
  • Eat well and go to sleep early.

 
Test Day in six month SAT study schedule-magoosh

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!!

 
And after test day…

Congratulations, you made it!

Now it’s time for a well deserved break…but don’t forget to come back here when you get your scores, and let us know how all your hard work paid off! 🙂

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

P.S. Ready to get your highest SAT score? Start here.
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.


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