How To Study for the SAT® and ACT® Exams Over the Summer?

Vector illustration of Student preparing for exams, education, training courses, internet studying, online book

Whether you are studying to take the SAT or ACT exam for the first time or preparing to retake either test, making a study plan and sticking to a schedule or routine is the best way to ensure that you maximize your time, preparing throughout the summer break.

It is likely that the months leading up to college applications are busy and stressful for students. You can minimize the amount of stress added to your plate when preparing for the exam by being effective with your time management and efficient with your studies.

1. Focus on your weakest performance areas

A great way to ensure that you are using your time effectively is by focusing on the areas where you can gain the most points. This means that you need to spend time studying and practicing the questions or subsections in which you have the weakest performance.

If you are working to improve your scores, the best place to gain points is in the sections where you were not successful during your baseline practice test. Do not waste your time by weighing your studies and practice equally for each skill or concept tested throughout the SAT or ACT exams.

Instead, focus and prioritize your time based on the areas that have the potential for improvement.

2. Take full-length practice tests.

The next tip to keep in mind when studying over the summer is scheduling days to take full-length practice tests. You must gain experience with the exam as a whole before you sit to take it on test day.

If the official test is your first time sitting to take an entire full-length SAT or ACT test, then you may find that you were unprepared for the struggles that come with the testing fatigue. The SAT and ACT tests are long and exhausting, but you can build up endurance by getting experience with the full-length practice tests.

Be sure that your practice tests are realistic to the style and level of difficulty you will face on test day.

3. Set a schedule for regular practice and studying

You should know that you do not have to take entire practice tests each time you sit down to prepare for the SAT or ACT exams. Instead, you should create a schedule for regular practice and regular studying that is broken down by question types, sections, subsections, and tests.

The most important thing to keep in mind when studying for the SAT or the ACT exams over the summer is that consistency is critical. You may rotate between topics or question types depending on the day or week.

You may also switch off between studying and practicing every other day. Break up your time evenly, and be sure that you focus on drilling the skills necessary to improve your scores in weak performance areas.

See your hard work pay off each time you take a practice exam by breaking your studies up and creating a routine for studying regularly throughout the summer.

As you prepare to study for the SAT or ACT tests throughout the summer months, remember that consistency is key. It is a good idea to set up a space in your home dedicated to your preparation work.

Once you get into a routine, you will see your hard work pay off. If you struggle to know where to start, consider focusing on your weakest performance areas. You can use UWorld’s SAT Prep Course and ACT Prep Course to prepare for the SAT and ACT exams!

Our prep courses offer performance tracking information to guide your study plan and track your improvements. They also offer realistic practice exams and thousands of test-prep questions to study and practice.

You can take advantage of the prep courses’ detailed question explanations to learn from your mistakes and dive deeper into more complicated topics or question types. Try it out to maximize your scoring potential and streamline your study plan throughout the summer months as you prepare to sit and take the official SAT and ACT exams.

Scroll to Top