How to Prepare for the SATs

About this article
Taking the SATs can be stressful for any student. This article discusses how to prepare for these standardized tests.
View available schools

Preparing for the SAT

Taking the SAT can be one of the most stressful experiences a high school student endures. It can feel like your whole educational career will be determined by these tests. If you're planning to continue your education at a college or university, taking a standardized test is inevitable. The SATs are among the most popular. In order to feel confident taking these tests, you need to prepare. Below is information on two options for preparing for the big test.

Taking an SAT Prep Class

There are many different companies that provide SAT prep classes for students. Some tutoring centers, such as Sylvan, provide classes for the SAT I. One of the most popular SAT courses is offered by the Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com). They offer SAT I and SAT II courses. The length and the type of material covered by the courses vary depending on the program. Some companies provide weekend courses that last for several hours. Others have classes that meet regularly three or more times a week for one or two hours at a time. Classes can work well for those who enjoy working with other students. These classes are often led by one or two teachers or tutors. Students often use workbooks or take practice tests familiarize themselves with the format and material covered in the SATs. One drawback is the price of these courses, as they can cost hundreds of dollars.

Do It Yourself

If you don't feel comfortable with taking classes, don't have the time or find them too expensive, don't be discouraged. You can study on your own or organize a study group with your friends. Some high schools even provide after-school classes led by teachers who are willing to take the extra time to help students prepare for your SATs.

If you prefer to study on your own, you can try going to your local library or to a bookstore. Many bookstores have whole shelves dedicated to SAT preparation guidebooks and workbooks. Make sure you find books that cover the all materials found on the SATs. For example, the SAT I includes sections on writing, math and critical reading.

You can find online resources as well, like Spark Notes at www.sparknotes.com, or go to any local store that carries various types of software. Many software companies have developed software that simulates the test environment by timing students. These materials are somewhat expensive, but not nearly as expensive as courses. Try to find materials that work well with how you learn. For instance, if you're a visual learner, try to use media that will accommodate this style.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. University of Saint Mary

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA Finance Concentration
      • MBA General Management Concentration
      • MBA Health Care Management Concentration
      • MBA Human Resources Management Concentration
      • MBA Leadership and Organizational Health Concentration
      • MBA Marketing and Advertising Concentration
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
      • RN-BSN Degree
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialization - Online
    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Liberal Arts
      • Master of Arts in Science Writing
      • Master of Science in Applied Economics
      • Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems
      • Master of Science in Bioinformatics
    Certificate
      • Certificate in Government Analytics
      • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for Communication
      • MS in Food Safety Regulation
      • Certificate in Science Writing
      • Certificate in Science, Technology, and International Security Studies
      • Post-Master Acute Care Pediatric Certificate - Online
  • Online Programs Available
    3. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
      • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
      • Master of Science in Health Informatics
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Certificate
      • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
      • Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    4. University of Delaware

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Public Administration
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration - Finance
      • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - International Business
      • Master of Education in Teacher Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
      • Doctorate: Computer Science
      • Doctorate - Computer Science: Information Assurance (Executive Format)
      • Doctor of Management - Graduate Level Instructional Practices
      • Doctorate: C.S. - Enterprise Information Systems
      • Doctorate: Management - Organizational Development and Change
    Master's
      • Master of Science in Computer Science
      • Master: Computer Science - Database Systems
      • Master of Business Admin
      • Master of Business Admin - Entrepreneurship
      • MS - Computer Science - Computer Systems Security
      • M.S. - Information Technology
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Psychology
      • BS - Criminal Justice
      • B.S. - Psychology - Organizational Behavior
      • B.S. - Psychology - Consumer Behavior
      • BS - Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
      • BS - IT - Web Development
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    6. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MSHS in Health Care Quality
      • Masters in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Technology Leadership
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality
      • Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Development
      • Graduate Certificate in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
      • Graduate Certificate in Transition Special Education
      • Education Specialist in Educational Leadership and Administration
      • Graduate Certificate in E-Learning
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Finance
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Health and Human Services Administration
      • Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
      • Master of Arts in International Development
      • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
      • Master of Arts in Special Education
      • Master of Science in Accountancy
    Bachelor's
      • RN to Bachelors of Science in Nursing
  • Online Programs Available
    9. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
      • Master of Arts in Economics
      • Master of Public Administration and Policy
      • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
      • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate in Agile Project Management
      • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Management
      • Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
    Master's
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master: Psychology/General Psychology
      • MSPY - Industrial/Organizational Psychology Specialization
      • Master of Public Health
    Bachelor's
      • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
    Associate's
      • AASBA in Business
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Accounting
    Certificate
      • Psychology
      • Medical Assisting
      • Certificate in Human Services
      • Medical Office Administration
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal

Featured Schools

University of Saint Mary

  • MBA Finance Concentration
  • MBA General Management Concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
  • RN-BSN Degree

What is your highest level of education completed?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialization - Online
  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Certificate in Government Analytics

What is your highest level of education?

George Mason University

  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate

What is your highest level of education?

University of Delaware

  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance

What is your highest level of education completed?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • B.S. - Psychology
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration

Are you a US citizen?

The George Washington University

  • MSHS in Health Care Quality
  • Masters in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services
  • Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality
  • Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Development

What is your highest level of education?

Georgetown University

  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

What is your highest level of education completed?

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

  • Master of Arts in Health and Human Services Administration
  • Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
  • RN to Bachelors of Science in Nursing

What is your highest level of education completed?