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Lucas Fink

Six Month SAT Study Schedule

six month sat study schedule-magoosh

Hoping to get a head start on your SAT prep? You’re in luck! If you have six months before your test date, you can spread out your studying and avoid cramming at the last minute.

The SAT 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 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!

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:

Table of Contents

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 45- to 90-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 SAT prep; 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.

Magoosh has many, many lesson videos…so not all of them were included in this six month SAT study schedule. We chose to highlight the math topics that are somewhat advanced, and for both math and verbal, we selected topics that are most closely aligned with what the SAT is testing.

We didn’t include as many videos on basic concepts (roots, integer properties, percents and ratios, etc.). Keep in mind that you will definitely see these concepts on test day. 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.

One last thing: If you don’t finish everything in one or more weeks, don’t despair. You can move on to the following week without completing all the work. Falling a bit short won’t hurt you. In fact, you can always revisit previous weeks later on — a good way of reviewing.

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Materials & Resources

Magoosh SAT Prep

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

You can also study with us on your phone. Our SAT Test Prep App makes 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 SAT. This section of the blog is completely dedicated to up-to-date information on the SAT.

*The Official SAT Study Guide (2020 Edition) – OG, or Official Guide, will be the shorthand used in this schedule

ISBN-13: 978-1457304309
ISBN-10: 1457304309
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 most other books). Find it on Amazon or check out the Kindle version.

Important note: You may use other editions of the Official Guide, just make sure the title of the chapter matches the instructions given.

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

Magoosh SAT eBook: Complete Guide to the SAT (free download)

An overview of the SAT with many helpful examples, the free Complete Guide to the SAT eBook is a great resource for understanding how the test is designed, and the fundamentals you’ll need to know to answer questions.

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, minus the answer explanations.

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.

Supplemental Reading

As we mentioned, doing well on the SAT isn’t just about cracking open an SAT prep book and practicing. You’ll also want to do a lot of extra reading. As part of your SAT study plan, you should 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. Don’t just skim to finish the articles — you won’t improve this way. Leave the skimming for the actual exam, and when you do your “homework” reading, go slowly. Push yourself 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.

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The Weekly Six Month SAT Study Schedule

A quick note: to make this plan as easy as possible to navigate, we have hidden the content of each day, so that you can see it when you’re ready for it. Just click on a given day to see the corresponding tasks and click the heading again to hide them when you’re done!

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 (go to the Math page and set your practice session for all subjects and all difficulty levels). Reach out to our help team if you have questions. The help button is displayed on all pages in your course.

 

Supplemental Reading

 

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Week 2

Verbal
  • Verbal Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Watch at least three Reading lessons of your choice. We recommend “Active Reading” as one of your lessons.
      • Watch at least three
        Writing
        lessons of your choice from the Sentence Structure section. We recommend “Intro to Sentence Structure” as one of your lessons.
  • Verbal Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Complete questions from any one Reading passage (One Task)
      • Complete questions from any one
        Writing
        passage (One Task)

 

Supplemental Reading

 

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Week 3

Math
  • Math Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Watch at least three Algebra, Equations, and Inequalities lessons. Feel free to skip or quickly move through videos in which you are familiar with the material.
  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 10 random no-calculator practice questions (go to the Math page and set your practice session for all subjects and all difficulty levels).

 

Supplemental Reading

 

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Week 4

Verbal
  • Verbal Review
  • Verbal Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Complete questions from any two Writing passages (Two Tasks)
      • Complete questions from any two Reading passages. Watch any of the related Reading lesson videos, if necessary.

 

Supplemental Reading

 

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Week 5

Math
  • “Passport to Advanced Math” Review
    • Magoosh Lessons
      • Passport to Advanced Math – Trigonometry (watch at least four of the nine lessons)
      • Watch at least three lessons from Passport to Advanced Math – Extra Topics

 

Supplemental Reading

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

 

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Week 6

Verbal
  • Verbal Practice
    • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from one Writing passage.
    • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from one Reading passage.

 

Supplemental Reading

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

 

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Week 7

Math
  • “Passport to Advanced Math” Review

 

Supplemental Reading

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

 

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Week 8: Week off!

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

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Week 9

Verbal
  • Verbal Practice
    • Complete questions from two Writing passages.
    • Complete questions from two Reading passages.

 

Supplemental Reading

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

 

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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 questions the College Board is going to throw at you on test day. There is only one way to find out…

Practice Test #1 from Official Guide

The College Board Test #1 is in the Official Guide and also available online for free here and here.

  • Time yourself.
  • Since this is your first full-length practice test, you don’t have to 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 one of those questions on the practice test, you could go to the relevant Magoosh lesson to learn more about them.
  • The entire process should take about 8-10 hours. (Weekend fun, anyone?)

 

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Week 11

Math

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Week 12

Math & Verbal
  • Math + Verbal Practice
    • Go back and watch any 4 math lessons and 4 verbal lessons you haven’t yet viewed.

 

Supplemental Reading

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

 

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Week 13

Practice Test #2 from Official Guide

The College Board Test #2 is in the Official Guide and also available online for free here and here.

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:

  • Geometry (watch any two of the first five videos, up to “Right Triangles”)
  • Coordinate Geometry (any two of the first four videos, up to “Slope”). Remember, if topics are familiar, you can speed through the video.

 

No supplemental reading

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Week 14

Math
  • Math Review
  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 15 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.

 

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Week 15

Verbal
  • Verbal Practice
    • Complete questions from two Writing passages.
    • Complete questions from two Reading passages.

 

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Week 16: Week off!

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

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Week 17

This week, review your notes and make sure you understand the answers to all the questions from practice exams you’ve taken. Reach out to our help team if you have questions. The help button is displayed on all pages in your course.

No supplemental reading

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Week 18

Practice Test #3 from Official Guide

The College Board Test #3 is in the Official Guide and also available online for free here and here.

Follow the same format as Weeks 10 and 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:

  • Statistics lessons

Use however much time you have left to read articles.
 

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Week 19

Math
  • Math Practice
    • Magoosh
      • Do 10 random practice questions from the no-calculator section.

 

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Week 20

Verbal
  • Verbal Practice
    • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from one Writing passage.
    • Choose “practice mode” and complete questions from one Reading passage.

 

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.

 

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Week 21

Practice Test #4 from Official Guide

The College Board Test #4 is in the Official Guide and also available online for free here and here.

Follow the same format as previous weeks.
 

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Week 22

Math

 

Supplemental Reading

Read three medium-length pieces or one long piece.

 

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Week 23

Mixed Practice from Practice Test #5 in the Official Guide

The College Board Test #5 is in the Official Guide and also available online for free here and here.

Follow the same format as previous weeks.

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.

 

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Week 24

Practice Test #6 in the Official Guide

The College Board Test #6 is in the Official Guide and also available online for free here and here.

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).

 

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
  • No studying!
  • Eat a full breakfast before leaving home.
  • Read our SAT Test Day Checklist.
  • Remember to pack:
    • Admissions ticket
    • Separate photo ID
    • Several #2 pencils (no mechanical pencils & no pens!)
    • Your calculator
    • A drink and a healthy-but-sugary snack with some protein (dried fruit & nuts, or crackers, cheese, & juice, are great options)
    • Water
    • Layers
  • No phones allowed!!

 

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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! 🙂

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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