How Much Time Should I Spend Preparing for the SAT?

Deciding how much time to spend preparing for the SAT is important to setting up a realistic timeline and a plan to be ready on test day. Schedule your test early and then plan backwards from test day to be sure that you will not feel rushed in preparation.

For most high school students, three months is the perfect amount of time to spend preparing for the SAT. This will give you plenty of time to review material, zero in on trouble areas, and take plenty of practice tests to check on your progress along the way. Three months will also give you time to feel comfortable with the format of the test and prepared for what you will face on SAT test day.

Students who like to feel that they have extra time and have the time to devote to test prep can always start earlier. This may help some students feel less anxious about the SAT and know that they have done all that they can to prepare. If you start earlier, you have more room to spread out your test preparation and go at a pace that works for you.

If you have taken the test before and feel that you just need to brush up on the material before trying again, one month of preparation may be okay. It all depends on what will help you to feel confident when you sit down to take the test. If you only have one month to prepare, it is important to focus in almost immediately on the areas that give you the most trouble so that you have time to work through challenging material before taking the SAT.

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Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter parenting is a term that is used to describe parents who are so closely involved in their child’s life that they seem to hover around them like a helicopter. Often this is taken to the extreme when a child’s academics are at stake. While there is nothing wrong with parents taking an interest in their children’s lives, schoolwork, and activities, helicopter parents often take this interest to the extreme to the point that it becomes detrimental to the child.
SAT preparations and the college application process can be particularly trying times for helicopter parents and their children. A helicopter parent may attempt to oversee their child’s SAT test prep and college applications, pushing them to excel at all costs and on the parent’s schedule. Often, this is detrimental to the child who may feel discouraged with their parent’s expectations and stifled by the pressure.

For students, having a helicopter parent can be frustrating, especially during the years when they are faced with some of their first important adult decisions. While parents should encourage their high school student to dedicate time to SAT test prep, practice tests, and time to applying for colleges, it is important that these decisions are made with the child and not for the child. This is the time that high school students should be learning to take charge of their responsibilities and plan their own schedules.

The best thing that a parent can do for their child during SAT prep and the college application process is to prepare them for independence. This means taking an active interest while allowing them the space to step up and take responsibility. This will help them to form the skills that will allow them to function after leaving home, perform well in college, and make good decisions. Often encouraging independence means allowing your student to make decisions with your guidance, not making decisions for them.

Children of helicopter parents can easily feel lost in college and out on their own. They may feel a lack of self-sufficiency and unable to make good decisions without parental approval and involvement. Parents can prevent these things by empowering their child to learn and grow, getting comfortable with making decisions that are right for them. Taking a step back can be a critical step in your child’s success.


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