top of page

# How long should you study for the SAT?

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

While this question is a tricky question, the answer depends on 2 things:

1. The gap between your base score and your desired score and,

2. The amount of time per day your schedule allows you to study.

Overall, we recommend studying a little each day for an extended length of time instead of studying a lot in a short time (cramming). Let’s break down the two factors that affect how long you need to study for the SAT.

1. How long you should study for the SAT depends on the gap between your current score and your desired score.

When deciding how long you should study for the SAT, ask yourself “How much do I want to increase my SAT score by?” This means you will need to do a diagnostic test to determine your base score. Your diagnostic test is the first practice test you take before you start studying or you may use the score you make on the PSAT (if you have taken it). Research shows that there is a correlation between the number of hours you study and the number of points your score will increase. Below, we have a table displaying the latter correlation:

Based on the table, to increase your SAT score between 0-30 points, you will need to study for at least 10 hours, to increase your score between 40-70 points you will need to study for at least 20 hours and so on. So, the number of points you are looking to increase your score by is a big factor for how long you should study for the SAT.

2. How long you should study for the SAT depends on your schedule.

After determining the gap between your current score and your desired score, next ask yourself, “What is my day-to-day schedule like?” For instance, per the table, if you want to increase your score by 70 – 130 points, you will need to study for a minimum of 40 hours. You may want to split these 40 hours up several ways. You may study for 4 hours for 10 days (2 weeks), 2 hours for 20 days (3 weeks) or 1 hour for 40 days (6 weeks).

Most students need 200 - 330 points increase on the math section of the SAT

Based on our experience, most students need to see an increase of 200 - 330 points on their math SAT (or general) score. This is equivalent to at least 150 hours of studying. These hours may be divided into 2 hours for 75 days (10 weeks) or 3 hours for 50 days (around 8 weeks). We do not recommend studying for longer than 10 weeks.

Based on the two above scenarios, how long you study is largely based on the number of hours you can commit per day, per week to studying.

You may be asking, where can I find a SAT prep course near me? Well, our virtual SAT prep class allows you to prep in the comfort of your home! Our course is usually 6 - 8 weeks long, which aligns with our students seeing 200 - 330 points increase on their math SAT score. This would mean studying for 2 – 3 hours per day for 8 weeks.

To register for our SAT prep course, you may visit https://www.sharpesessions.com/sat.

To purchase our SAT prep workbook as a resource for studying, you may visit https://www.sharpesessions.com/satworkbook.