How Much Does SAT® Prep Improve Your Score?

Vector illustration of student doing SAT prep to improve score results
So, how much does SAT® prep improve your score? Read on to find out how your prep work can affect your final score on the SAT. Also includes prep-time tips!
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Vector illustration of student doing SAT prep to improve score results
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Whether you are preparing to take the SAT® exam for the first time or preparing to retake the exam, you should know that studying and practicing for the test is nearly guaranteed to improve your performance. Here’s a breakdown of some things to keep in mind to maximize your potential for improvement.

If you want to raise your scores as much as possible, you can follow these steps to build an organized and effective study plan. Start by setting goals and creating a testing schedule. You should prioritize building a study plan that allows the maximum amount of time spent preparing for the SAT exam.

A well-strategized study plan is what answers the question — how does much SAT prep improve scores. The better your study plan is, the more time you can spend on topics and subjects that require close attention while also being sure that you’re revising topics that you’re already familiar with. Taking these steps can help make your prep time more efficient and significantly raise your SAT score. 

Set a Goal Score

The first thing you should do if you are hoping to raise your SAT score is set a goal score that you want to achieve by the end of your test prep work. Setting a goal score is a great way to stay on track throughout your studies, manage your expectations, and streamline your study plan by studying what is necessary to reach your goals. 

You should know that not all students need to get a perfect score on the SAT exam to get into their college of choice. You should also know that three sections of the SAT exam do not need to be equally weighted when creating your study plan. 

If math is not your strong suit, and you are not shooting for a perfect composite score, then you may decide to dedicate most of your prep time to perfecting your Reading test score and your Writing test score. Setting goals may open up opportunities for flexibility within your study plan. By personalizing your test prep to focus on your strengths, improvement may be much more attainable. 

If you hope to improve your scores through test prep, do some research on your prospective colleges, and determine what scores resulted in acceptance in previous years. Because your test scores are only one part of your application, there will not be a set score that will make or break your potential for an acceptance letter. Still, this research is a great starting point to maximize your studies! 

Select a Test Date and Consider Your Schedule for Retaking the Exam

Once you have set a goal score, it is essential to select a test date that allows for enough prep time before the exam day. You can look at the College Board® website to see when the next SAT exam will be offered in your local area. Be sure that you have enough time to receive your test scores before the deadlines so you can send them out to colleges. You should know that it takes about two weeks for your scores to be sent out after sitting to take the exam. 

When selecting your test date, you should also consider whether or not you will retake the SAT exam. If you plan to take the exam more than once, be sure that you sign up for your first test early enough to receive your initial scores and register for the next one.

If you are wondering, how much does SAT prep improve scores, you should know that most students see improvements by retaking the exam after their first attempt. After taking the exam once, you can learn from your mistakes and fine-tune your study plan for the questions, subsections, and sections you can improve the most. 

Alternatively, you may also work to build up your superscore. Whether you are hoping to improve your composite score or build a strong superscore in each section of the exam, you must select a test date and set a testing schedule that makes sense for your scoring strategy. 

The deadlines for applications may sneak up on you, so it is important to have a schedule in advance. Find out when college applications are due and work out a plan that allows enough time to prepare, take the exam, wait two weeks for results, and submit your scores. Building a schedule that allows plenty of time to prepare is crucial when working towards improving your scores. 

More Time Spent Studying Usually Equates To Better Performance 

If you are pressed for time, you may choose to perfect the areas of the exam you naturally succeed in. If you are looking to improve your scores as much as possible, then you should know that the more time you spend studying and practicing, the more you are likely to improve. 

If you hope to substantially improve your scores, you can start by dedicating time to working on the areas you consistently answer incorrectly. Refining your weak points throughout the exam, be it question types, sections, or subsections that you consistently miss, is a great way to boost your score. 

This option is ideal and the more time you spend on your weaknesses, the more improvement you will see. Consider your goals and the amount of time you have to prepare for the exam. You may find that rather than spending time perfecting the questions you’re already comfortable with, focusing on improving the questions you find difficult is a better bet. You are sure to see improvement in your scores by preparing for the exam in this way.

Taking these steps can raise your SAT exam score significantly. Ultimately, taking time to prepare for the exam will result in higher performance.

Here are some quick prep-time tips to improve your SAT score

1. Improve your timing and check your work

While preparing for the SAT exam, it is important to do a few practice tests. By doing this, you can work on your timing to ensure that you have spare time to check your answers before submission. 

2. Focus on your weak points throughout your practice work

The practice tests you take will help you identify your weak points. Make note of this and put in extra practice to make sure you improve your performance in these sections.

3. Familiarize yourself with the exam format

Knowing what to expect on the exam will keep the nerves away and help you strategize how you go through the exam. 

Read our article on tips to improve your SAT Score by at least 100 points to pick up more study tips to help you reach your goal.

As you begin preparing, try UWorld’s SAT Prep course to ensure that your practice work is realistic to the style and level of difficulty that you will encounter on the official SAT exam. Our prep course offers tools like detailed answer explanations, performance tracking information, and thousands of sample questions.

You can use the detailed answer explanations to dive deeper into concepts and skills you are unfamiliar with. You can use the performance tracking data to pinpoint any weak areas, which is super helpful in streamlining your study plan and increasing your scores. Use the thousands of practice questions to gain experience and boost your confidence with the SAT exam before the official exam. Try it out!

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