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How long should you study for the SAT?

Updated: Jan 10



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.