How To Prepare For Your SAT Exam: A Step-by-Step Guide for Learners

How to prepare for SAT exam

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a crucial test used by colleges and universities across the US to determine college admissions. Most institutions require students to take either the SAT, a standardized test that comprises of three sections – math, evidence-based writing, and reading. The SAT also comes with an optional essay section. Online SAT prep courses are a great way for learners to refresh their knowledge on a variety of topics in preparation for this important exam. SAT prep courses are designed to help learners build confidence and become more comfortable taking the actual SAT. And the more comfortable a student is with the concepts and materials, the better they will score when taking the test.

But first, what is SAT?

The Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT as it is commonly referred, is a standardized test used for admitting students to colleges and Universities in the US. The admission office usually looks into the student’s SAT score in combination with their transcript, essays, extracurricular activities, and other components of their application to in order to determine whether they can be admitted into the university or not. SAT scoring ranges from 400 to 1600, and the test is made up of Writing and Language, Reading, and Math as well as an optional essay.

Who is SAT for?

In order to understand who SAT is meant for and what is in the SAT exam when applying to join college, it is important to appreciate why this test is important. SAT can be taken by any individual who is planning to join college in the US. Generally, students take this exam in their junior or senior high school years. High school freshmen or adults who are hoping to go back to school can take this course as well.

Thus, anyone is eligible for SAT exam as long as there are high school freshmen or have a higher level of education. While SAT is not a mandatory requirement for all colleges and universities, most institutions rely on it as their entrance exam. Since most students apply to multiple colleges and universities, it is important that they have the SAT test results to qualify for schools that require this exam.

What is covered on the SAT exam?

The SAT exam consists of four testing areas: math, critical reading, language and writing, and an optional essay component that takes about 50 minutes to complete. Here is a breakdown of these testing areas:

  1. Critical reading and writing
    • Reading: tests reading comprehension of passages covering historical documents, natural sciences, fiction, and social sciences.

52 multiple-choice questions that require 65 minutes to complete

  • Writing and Language: vocabulary, test grammar, and editing skills

44 multiple-choice questions that require 35 minutes to complete

  1. Math: Geometry, Test Algebra I and II, and Trigonometry

58 multiple-choice questions (20 with calculator permitted, 38 with calculator not permitted) that require 80 minutes to complete.

  1. Essay: this is an optional section although it is highly recommended that students complete it as most universities are usually eager to see how applicants express themselves. This essay takes 50 minutes to complete.

Are online SAT test preps effective?

There are multiple ways to prepare for the SAT, from books to online SAT prep courses to in-person classes. Online SAT prep is certainly a great option if you have a tight schedule and prefer studying from home or at your pace. You will have to take the initiative of working through the lessons on your own or logging on to attend online classes. Online SAT prep is great if you want to prepare for your SAT with some level of independence, anytime, and from any location.

What makes a great online SAT course?

As online learning gains popularity, so do the options of what you can learn from the comfort of your home. This applies to online SAT preparation too, and it is extremely important that you do a thorough research on the available options in order to settle for the best online SAT prep course. For instance, if you prefer a self-paced learning, then you are better off selecting an online SAT course that focuses on the method rather than synchronous classes.

Regardless on the delivery approach, there are certain components of online SAT courses that serve as indicators of quality. Here are the features that make an especially strong online SAT course:

Live or Self-Paced courses

Once you have embarked on your SAT prep studies, it is vital that you decide whether you are going for live or self-paced, or synchronous courses. Self-Paced SAT prep is ideal if you are looking for flexibility with respect to the time of day you want to conduct your studies. Live courses, on the other hand, are ideal for learners who are looking for a more traditional, real-time classroom environment. Most SAT prep companies, like Prep Expert, offer both options.

A strong library of SAT prep resources

Regardless of your chosen SAT preparation method, it is important that you have access to the best learning resources available. As you explore your options, you will need to assess some of the features critical to your preparation for the exam. Some of these features include whether or not there is adequate time for tutor feedback, availability of SAT practice exams, progress reports, and more.

Experienced tutors

The best online SAT pre courses are facilitated by tutors who are about their learners and are committed to helping them improve their scores. Alongside the dedication, your SAT prep instructor should also come with years of experience and multiple positive feedbacks from former students. You want to work with an instructor who is willing and ready to offer personalized attention.

Best tips for taking online SAT prep courses

Regardless of how you decide to study for your SAT exam, it is important that you come up with a study plan, practice, and remain focused. Here are a few tips that can help you come up with a realistic schedule to maximize on your online SAT prep course:

  1. Come up with a study plan: The first, and most important, part of your online SAT exam prep is to come up with a functioning study plan. Your plan should consist of both short-term and long-term goals. It is important that you pay more attention to problem areas, anticipate scheduling conflicts, and set aside time for intermittent rest periods. Remember, preparing for SAT exams is not a sprint. It is a marathon. Thus, if cramming is your back-up study plan, you will be in for real trouble.
  2. Work smart, not hard: No matter how much time you are setting aside for your SAT exam prep, if you are not utilizing your time wisely and with a careful strategy, you will not realize the desired results. It is important that you use your time prudently.
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice: Learning how to take the SAT exam is a skill in and of itself. It is important that you learn how to anticipate the challenges that you will encounter in your practice exams.
  4. Mix it up! Consider changing up your study resources by exploring different study methods, content, and sections of the SAT exams to review. You can consider setting one day to perfecting your Algebra, another to hone your vocabulary, and another to practicing your essay writing skills. By shifting your study areas, you will keep your brain fresh, and motivated.


The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) can be quite intimidating. You’ve probably heard that this test can greatly determine your future. That said, it is not impossible to pass your SAT exam with flying colors if you prepare well for it. Signing up for an online SAT exam prep course can position you for great success when taking this all-important exam.

Looking forward to sitting for a SAT exam? Sign up for Prep Expert’s SAT prep courses today and begin your journey to success. All courses come with a 100 percent money-back guarantee!!

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