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How Long to Study for a 1520+ on the New SAT

kalonskalons Registered User Posts: 150 Junior Member
hello, all!

here's the dealio:
- i am aiming for a 1520+ on the new sat.
- i understand that score is incredibly hard to obtain, but my desire for success is sky high, so with hard work, i believe i can do it.
- i will be taking it in october for the second and (more than likely) last time because i want to take my subject tests in november to have ready for my EA schools of choice (a lot of studying, i know, but as i said before, i will do anything it takes).
- i have taken the ACT five times, and i can't afford to send five terrible scores to my colleges of choice. it's not realistic. i would much rather send two scores (one average and one above average) to said schools.
- reading and english are my best subjects on standardized tests, another reason for why i believe the SAT is better for me than the ACT ever was/will be.

those points lead into my question(s): how long should i study to make a 1520+? if you scored a 1520+, what did you do to achieve your score? what resources should i use to score a 1520+? thank you for the help!

Replies to: How Long to Study for a 1520+ on the New SAT

  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 919 Member
    it may be easier to give a suggestion if we know where you are now... what were your SAT /ACT scores? what are your weaknesses?
  • kalonskalons Registered User Posts: 150 Junior Member
    @annamom ah, shoot, right, i totally should have mentioned this in my post. my ACT score is a 29, and i got a 1260 on my trial SAT (brutal, i understand; however, i got that going in cold with no studying. had never even seen an SAT question before that day). my weaknesses are definitely math and science and are why i think the SAT would be better since there's no science!
  • shkodra14shkodra14 Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    If math and science are your weaknesses then you will suffer just as much on the SAT. On the SAT. math = 50%, Reading/Writing = 50%. On the ACT, math gets split into 25% and then science the other 25%. I found the ACT easier because I am good with science/reading/writing but score a little less on math, which makes up a smaller percentage of my score. The other thing is that the ACT's content is easier than the SAT's content; the timing is just different. Were you studying in between ACT tests??

    I haven't studied for the SAT intensively (only took it once and then switched to ACT), so I don't think I could give you any advice on that.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 2,646 Senior Member
    I think that you need to find a tutor who will give you a practice test under realistic situations and see how you do. Then they can focus on areas where you need improvement.

    Some people walk in off the street with no preparation at all and get 800 on the math part of the SAT. Others are never going to get there. It sort of depends. I am a math guy so I may have a different experience from someone else. However, in my (ancient) experience, the English part of the SAT was hard due to vocabulary, and it would seem almost impossible to study enough to gain enough additional vocabulary to help much in this area. The math part, if anyone found it hard, would probably be mostly from the way that you look at problems and concepts. This seems like something that should be teachable.

    However, getting above 1500 for most people is a rather difficult task. A 240 point jump from your first take on the test is a pretty large jump.
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 919 Member
    I noticed that you mentioned reading and English are your best subjects. However, you need to understand why you have difficulty in the Math and Science, is it because of the content? or time ? or anxiety? You said you took the trial SAT cold, therefore have you even figured out where you made the mistakes? it is more than just the time spent on studying... BTW, my kid took ACT and her score corresponds to 1520+....I got her the erica Meltzer book and gave her many practice tests...
  • kalonskalons Registered User Posts: 150 Junior Member
    @DadTwoGirls thank you for the advice!

    @annamom i definitely believe it boils down to time and anxiety. i myself took AP Calc AB in high school (i maintained a 100 average all 36 weeks of class) and never found it difficult. i do well on the practice tests even with time constraints, but when it comes time to test, i begin to freak out over the possibility of not knowing questions which causes me to miss many on the exam if that makes sense.
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 919 Member
    edited June 19
    I think practice will help with timing and I do not know how to do with anxiety...what was the break down for 1260 trial SAT? are you a rising senior ? If so, you may want to register for the Aug SAT...and ACT in September...
  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia Registered User Posts: 2,579 Senior Member
    Your ACT 29 corresponds to a 1360 on the new SAT. The 29 is a pretty decent score, actually.

    I agree that it doesn't make a lot of sense to attempt the ACT for a 6th time, especially if your scores have plateaued. Was that 29 superscored or your highest individual test?

    The main difference I saw on the SAT as compared to the ACT was that the math problems are very verbal - meaning that you have to read the problem very carefully to discern the question that is being asked. It is easy to get tripped up in the verbiage. The ACT, to my mind, is much more straightforward but moves at a quicker pace.

    To prepare, I would work through all of the official SAT tests that are available, under timed conditions, and then review your mistakes. Use Khan Academy to supplement for problem areas. Best of luck to you.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,690 Senior Member
    Some people take no prep and achieve that while other will not even get close to 1520 after thourough practice. The test is primary for the knowledge you learned in school. Practice test will get you more familiar with the test format and response faster while tutoring and reviewing the questions you missed will help you to raise the score a bit more. Still, you will reach a plateau that may or may not be near 1520. So don't set a target score. Just try your best in practice test and reviews till you feach a plateau score. If work hard, you should be able to reach a plateau within a few months.
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