How to Study for the SAT in a Month (Before it Goes Fully Digital)

Posted on Oct 9th, 2023

The SAT, a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States, is on the brink of a major transformation. 

The College Board, the organization responsible for the SAT, has announced its plans to phase out the paper-and-pencil SAT and fully embrace the digital format. 

As this transition looms, many students are faced with the challenge of preparing for the SAT in a month – before it goes fully digital. 

In this article, we'll teach you how to study for the SAT in a month.

We'll share effective strategies and a study plan to help you make the most of your limited time and succeed on the SAT.

Read on and get prepared to sit for your SAT by December!

What is the SAT?

The Scholastic Assessment Test, or SAT, is a standardized test widely recognized and utilized for college admissions in the United States. Administered by the College Board, the SAT is designed to assess a student's readiness for college and provide colleges with a common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. It plays a crucial role in the college admissions process, offering students an opportunity to showcase their academic skills and potential.

What the SAT Tests

The SAT evaluates various skills and knowledge areas to gauge a student's overall readiness for higher education. It consists of the following sections, each targeting specific aspects of a student's academic abilities:

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW): This section assesses your reading comprehension skills, vocabulary, and understanding of written passages. It includes both reading and writing components.
  • Mathematics: The math section evaluates your mathematical reasoning, problem-solving, and computational skills. It covers a range of math topics, including algebra, geometry, and data analysis.
  • Essay (Optional): While the SAT essay is now optional for many colleges, some institutions may still require it. It measures your ability to analyze and provide a well-structured response to a given prompt.

The SAT is a comprehensive assessment that combines these sections to provide a holistic view of a student's academic readiness. Scores on the SAT are an essential component of college applications and can influence admissions decisions, scholarship opportunities, and course placements.

Preparing for the SAT involves mastering these key areas and developing effective test-taking strategies to perform at your best on exam day. Whether you're a high school student aiming to gain admission to your dream college or seeking to enhance your scholarship prospects, understanding the SAT and how it evaluates your skills is a critical first step in your journey toward higher education.

Why Take the SAT by December (Before It Goes Fully Digital)

As the SAT undergoes a significant transformation toward a fully digital format, there are compelling reasons to consider taking the test by December. While digitalization offers some advantages, it also introduces unique challenges that may impact your test performance. Here's why you should aim to sit for the SAT before the complete shift to digital and how to navigate this transition effectively.

1. Familiarity with the Traditional Format

The SAT, in its traditional paper-and-pencil format, has been the standard for years. Many students are more comfortable with this format, having practiced extensively with printed materials. Taking the SAT in its current form allows you to leverage your familiarity with the traditional format, potentially leading to a more confident and successful test experience.

2. Challenges of the New Digital Format

The upcoming transition to a fully digital SAT format introduces several challenges:

  • Digital Distractions: In the digital environment, there's the potential for distractions that don't exist on paper. Staying focused amidst digital interfaces, pop-ups, and other electronic diversions can be a challenge.
  • Adaptation Period: Shifting from paper to digital may require an adjustment period. You may need time to acclimate to the computer-based format, potentially affecting your initial performance.
  • Limited Availability: The rollout of the new digital SAT may not be uniform, with variations in availability across regions and test centers. Securing a spot for the digital test might be more competitive and less convenient.

By taking the SAT before the full transition to digital, you preserve the choice of which format to take. Some students may find that the paper format suits them better, while others may prefer the digital version. Having this choice ensures you can select the format that aligns best with your strengths and preferences.

In the next section, we'll provide you with actionable strategies and a study plan to help you succeed on the SAT, even within this condensed timeframe. Whether you choose to take the test in its current format or the digital version, these preparation techniques will serve you well in achieving your target score.

How to Study for the SAT in a Month

Studying for the SAT in a condensed timeframe of one month demands a well-structured and efficient approach. In this section, we'll guide you through a comprehensive study plan and effective strategies to make the most of your limited time and prepare successfully for the SAT. Whether you're gearing up for the traditional paper format or the new digital SAT, these tips and techniques will help you achieve your desired score.

Create a Study Plan

To conquer the SAT in just one month, you'll need a meticulously crafted study plan that optimizes your efforts. In this section, we'll help you design a study schedule that maximizes your time, focuses on your weaknesses, and ensures consistent progress. A well-structured plan is your key to success.

1. Assess Your Starting Point

Before diving into your study plan, take a full-length practice SAT test. This diagnostic test will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to tailor your study plan accordingly.

2. Set Clear Goals

Determine your target SAT score and the specific areas you need to improve. Having clear goals will help you stay focused and motivated throughout your month of preparation.

3. Build a Study Schedule

Divide your study time into manageable chunks. Aim for at least 3-4 hours of focused study each day, and allocate more time to your weaker areas. Utilize tools like calendars and study apps to help you stay organized.

Study Materials

Choosing the right study materials is vital for effective SAT preparation. Next, we'll explore the essential resources you should consider, from official SAT guides to online platforms and practice tests.

4. Official SAT Study Guide

The Official SAT Study Guide, published by the College Board, is an invaluable resource. It contains real SAT questions and practice tests that closely mimic the actual exam.

5. Online Resources

Explore online SAT prep platforms and websites. Many of them offer free practice questions, tutorials, and study plans that can supplement your preparation.

Study Strategies

With limited time on your side, it's crucial to employ strategic study methods that yield the best results. In this section, we'll delve into specific study strategies tailored to the SAT.

6. Focus on High-Yield Topics

Given your limited time frame, prioritize studying high-yield topics that appear frequently on the SAT, such as algebra, grammar rules, and reading comprehension strategies.

7. Take Timed Practice Tests

Regularly take timed practice tests to simulate exam conditions and improve your time management skills. Analyze your mistakes and work on areas where you struggled.

8. Utilize Flashcards

Create flashcards for vocabulary words and math formulas to reinforce your memory. Flashcards are a quick and effective way to review key concepts.

Test-Taking Strategies

Success on the SAT not only depends on your knowledge but also your test-taking skills. In this section, we'll explore valuable strategies for tackling the SAT on exam day.

9. Guess Strategically

Since there's no penalty for guessing on the SAT, don't leave any questions unanswered. If you're unsure about an answer, make an educated guess.

10. Review Your Work

Allocate a few minutes at the end of each section to review your answers. Check for any errors or questions you may have missed.

11. Manage Your Time

Practice time management during your study sessions and practice tests. Pace yourself to ensure you have enough time to answer all questions.

12. Seek Professional Guidance

If you're feeling overwhelmed or struggling with specific sections of the SAT, consider enlisting the help of a professional SAT tutor. Tutors can provide personalized guidance and targeted strategies to address your weaknesses.

Now, let's see what an SAT study plan for one month looks like.

SAT Study Plan for One Month

Preparing for the SAT in just one month requires a focused and efficient study plan. This comprehensive study schedule is designed to help you make the most of your limited time and optimize your preparation. Follow this plan diligently, adjust it to your strengths and weaknesses, and stay committed to your goal of SAT success.

Week 1: Diagnostic Test and Target Setting

Day 1: Diagnostic Test
  • Take a full-length SAT practice test to identify your starting point.
  • Analyze your strengths and weaknesses based on the test results.
Day 2-3: Setting Clear Goals
  • Determine your target SAT score and the colleges you're interested in.
  • Break down your score goals for each section (Reading, Writing, and Math).
Day 4-7: Create Your Study Schedule
  • Develop a daily and weekly study plan.
  • Allocate more time to your weaker areas.
  • Set aside specific study blocks for practice tests and review.

Week 2-3: Content Review and Practice

Daily Routine
  • Start each day with a warm-up, reviewing concepts from the previous day.
  • Spend focused time on one or two content areas, rotating through Reading, Writing, and Math.
  • Work through practice questions and exercises in the chosen area.
  • Review your answers, focusing on understanding your mistakes.

Weekly Goals
  • Complete at least one practice test per week, simulating test conditions.
  • Analyze your performance to identify areas that need improvement.
  • Adjust your study plan based on your progress.

Week 4: Final Review and Test-Taking Strategies

Day 1-3: Final Content Review
  • Dedicate these days to review all content areas.
  • Focus on high-yield topics and areas where you've struggled.

Day 4-5: Practice Test and Analysis
  • Take another full-length practice test.
  • Review your performance to fine-tune your strategies.

Day 6-7: Test-Taking Strategies
  • Learn and practice effective test-taking strategies.
  • Focus on time management, guessing strategies, and pacing.

Test Day: Stay Calm and Confident

  • Get a good night's sleep the night before.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast.
  • Arrive at the test center early.
  • Stay calm, confident, and focused during the test.
  • Apply the strategies you've practiced.

After the Test: Score Analysis and Reflection

  • When you receive your scores, analyze your performance.
  • Reflect on your preparation and test-taking experience.
  • Consider retaking the SAT if necessary to achieve your target score.

Remember that consistency and dedication are key to your success in this one-month SAT study plan. Stay organized, stick to your schedule, and seek support from tutors or study groups if needed. By following this plan and practicing regularly, you'll be well-prepared to tackle the SAT and achieve your desired score. Good luck!


Preparing for the SAT in a month is undoubtedly a challenge, but it's one that can be conquered with dedication and the right approach. Remember to set clear goals, create a structured study plan, and make the most of available study materials and resources. Implement effective study strategies and test-taking techniques to maximize your performance on exam day.

At Shark Tutor LLC, we understand the importance of SAT preparation and the challenges that come with it. Whether you're in Fairfield & Westchester Counties or anywhere in the USA, our SAT tutoring services are here to support you. 

Reach out to us at (203) 249-9460 or [email protected] for personalized SAT tutoring that can make a real difference in your scores. Don't let the digital shift deter you; embrace the challenge and seize the opportunity to excel on the SAT!

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