SAT Prep FAQs: How Long Should I Prepare for SAT or ACT?

Here at SAT Preparation Group we like to suggest at least two months to prepare for your first SAT or ACT.  It certainly helps if a student is responsible enough to do the work necessary to succeed.  It is also quite useful if the student has a great deal of reading and vocabulary experience.

Studying, reading, and vocabulary definitely takes the longest due to the randomness of the vocabulary and reading passages and the amount of information that can potentially be on the test.  The math and grammar on the other hand are much easier to learn because there is a certain pattern to it.

The SAT grammar is the easiest subject to prepare for because there are only about 13 concepts to brush up on.  These patterns repeat themselves sometimes 4 or 5 times per test.  So, a diligent student keeps seeing these same easily recognized patterns over and over again he or she will be able to quickly and substantially improve.  Now keep in mind that the College Board and the SAT or ACT test writers never ask the same exact question twice (at least that I have seen), but they do like to repeat the same patterns quite often.

The SAT math section requires a student to learn and understand about 50 math concepts.  These concepts have been strewn about through five or more years of math so they need to be consolidated and relearned.  Keep in mind that the test writers go way beyond the basic formulas learned in school over the years.  So new problems of problem solving need to be instilled nevertheless it is not rocket science.  It is just recognizing enough patterns enough times to get the neurons to connect so that on the real test the student can take this advanced knowledge and quickly know what to do.  The math patterns don’t show up as often as the grammar patterns do, and there are more concepts to learn with the math so it takes a little more effort to get all the math patterns down pat.

For students planning to take the ACT, the ACT includes a Science Section where as the SAT does not.  There is nothing to really know about the science section other than it does take a little practice to improve data interpretation skills.


Steve Kirshenbaum, M.S. is an Educational Consultant and Founder of SAT Preparation Group, which specializes in in-home SAT coaching throughout Southern Florida and online SAT coaching throughout the world! SAT Preparation Group coaches on SAT, SSAT, ACT, GRE, college planning, and success strategies for teens. Call Us Today for a Free Consultation 877-672-8773 or visit us online at

SAT Preparation Group advises in test prep, college planning, and success strategies for teens. Call Us Today at 877-672-8773 or click here for a free consultation.

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