When to Start Studying for the SAT or ACT

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Wondering when should you start studying for the SAT or ACT? If you plan to go to college in the United States, an ACT or SAT test is probably on the horizon for you. But figuring out when to start preparing for the SAT or ACT can be confusing. In this post, we’ll discuss when you should start studying for the SAT or ACT and a few tips for preparing well for the tests.

When Should I Start Studying for the SAT or ACT?

The summer before junior year is the ideal time to start studying for the SAT or ACT.

Here’s why: you need to be prepared to take the SAT or ACT in the winter or spring of junior year, and it’s preferable to have 3-6 months to study before your first SAT or ACT test. Taking your first SAT or ACT earlier in your junior year gives you more time to schedule follow up tests, if necessary. If you take a winter test (usually in December, January, and February) or a spring test (usually in March and April), you can use the scores from this test to focus your study for Test #2 in May or June.

We recommend starting to study for the SAT or ACT the summer before junior year because your junior year is usually the most academically challenging, meaning it may be difficult to find time to prep during the school year. You can take some of the pressure off by beginning to study for the SAT or ACT the summer before your junior year. Enrolling in an self-paced online SAT or ACT prep course like Olive Book’s is a great way to get started. 

Learn more about when to take your first ACT or SAT test here

Additionally, if you think that you might be eligible for National Merit Scholar when you take the PSAT in October as a junior, then you definitely need to use the summer to start preparing.

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How to Start Studying for the SAT or ACT

Studying for the SAT or ACT is not about memorizing formulas or tricks. It’s about learning the content of the SAT or ACT test. If you fully understand the concepts behind the test questions and can apply your knowledge to new situations, you’re on track for a great score. 

The simplest way to start studying for the SAT or ACT is by enrolling in a comprehensive prep course, like Olive Book’s online SAT and ACT courses. Olive Book’s courses cover every section of the test and are designed to help you connect with the material through relevant questions and animated explanation videos. Plus, they’re developed by veteran tutors and high school teachers, so you can trust the content is made for real high school students. 

But if Olive Book isn’t for you, we recommend you check out this list of the best SAT and ACT prep companies in 2021. 

The Best Time to Begin SAT or ACT Prep

The summer before junior year is the sweet spot to start studying for the SAT or ACT. Because we recommend taking your first ACT or SAT test in the winter or spring of junior year, beginning to study over the summer gives you a relaxed amount of time to study before your first test.

Further Reading:

When to Take the SAT/ACT Test: Testing Timeline
The Best ACT/SAT Prep Courses in 2021

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Olive Book’s online ACT and SAT courses are all you need to boost your score. Check them out:

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