How to study for the SAT in one month

How to Study for the SAT in 1 Month

Studying for the SAT in a month is possible, though it’s recommended that you spend 10 to 20 hours per week over the course of two or three months prepping for the SAT. But if you only have 30 days, here’s how you can get it done.

RELATED: SAT 3-Month Study Plan ]

NEWS: SAT GOING COMPLETELY DIGITAL IN 2024

College Board has announced that the paper-and-pencil SAT will be no more, as the test will soon switch to a digital version. Test-takers in the U.S. will first experience the digital test for the October 2023 PSAT before the SAT officially goes digital in the U.S. in 2024.

CHANGES TO THE SAT WHEN IT GOES DIGITAL

The main change to the Digital SAT will be the duration, as the test will now only take two hours, instead of three. For many test-takers, the shorter test day will make the SAT less daunting and more approachable.

The Digital SAT will be section-adaptive, meaning that each subject will be divided into two sections. The test-taker’s performance on the first section will inform the difficulty of the second section. The goal of this is to create a more efficient test-taking experience. Despite these changes, the SAT will retain its 1600 scoring scale.

Other changes to the SAT include a calculator being allowed on the entire math section and shorter reading passages with just one question-per-passage.

SAT Study Calendar

Before you actually start, you’ll want to get organized. With just one month until your SAT test date, create a study calendar. You should be realistic when planning your studying, taking into account all of your other obligations, including homework, extracurricular activities, travel time, etc. 

A study calendar will make the daunting task of prepping for the SAT more manageable. Building an entire calendar before you start your prep will help keep you accountable. You’ll be able to make space for your SAT prep ahead of time, and you’ll know exactly what to study each day.

There are four sections on the SAT: reading, writing, math without a calculator. There is also an optional essay (most students choose to complete it). 

You’ll want to make sure that you budget time in your study calendar to prep for each section of the SAT every week, and also to take and review a practice test.

SAT Sample 1 Week Study Schedule

  • Day
  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Study Task
  • Take a full-length practice test
  • Review practice test answers and explanations
  • Take the day off
  • Prepare for the reading section
  • Prepare for the writing and language section
  • Review practice test answers and explanations.
  • Prepare for the math section

There is flexibility in how you lay out your personal study calendar, especially if you want to spread your studying over 6 days (taking at least one day off a week is a good idea to give your brain some time to rest, process, and recharge). You should always take your practice tests in a single sitting—that’ll probably be your longest day of studying each week (3 hours).

If you want to fit in a week’s work of studying in 4 days, you might consider reviewing your practice test and working on Writing & Language Prep in the same day. However you decide to use your time, build out your entire month’s calendar at the onset. Once your study calendar is done, you’re ready to begin.  

SAT 1 Month Study Plan: Week 1


Week 1 is all about assessing your baseline score and current skill level. By taking and scoring a SAT practice test, you can identify where you are starting and how far you are from your personal SAT score goal

Use the results of your first practice test to identify where your greatest areas of opportunity are. For example, if you got most Math questions with Exponents wrong, you’ll want to flag that topic for a foundational concept review. On the other hand, if you got most Geometry questions correct, you shouldn’t spend too much time reviewing concepts, but focus instead on studying test-taking strategies to make you more efficient on those question types.

What To Study During Week 1

  • Step 1: Take and score a full-length SAT practice test in a single sitting.
  • Step 2: Review your practice test, identifying your areas of opportunity. Reviewing the test should take at least as long as it took to take it. Start with the questions you got wrong first to identify where you went wrong (Do you need to brush up on the concept? Did you make a calculation error in your scratchwork?). Then, review the questions that you got right. Compare how you got the answer to the explanation provided to see if there was room for you to be more efficient in getting to the right answer.
  • Step 3: Study for each section of the test, reviewing/learning foundational concepts as needed, doing practice sets, and reviewing each question.

SAT 1 Month Study Plan: Week 2


Start Week 2 with another SAT practice test. If you got similar question types wrong as you did last week, you’ll really want to hone in on those areas this week. Use your practice test review day to identify the areas that you’ll focus on this week in each section of the test. Be sure to spend some quality time this week learning and practicing test-taking strategies and methods for each section.

What To Study During Week 2

  • Step 1: Take and score a full-length SAT practice test in a single setting.
  • Step 2: Review your practice test.
  • Step 3: Study for each section of the test following your study calendar.

SAT 1 Month Study Plan: Week 3


With just two weeks until your SAT Test Day, this will be the last week where you focus on foundational material and concept review. Use your practice test results to guide your studying, as you did in Weeks 1 and 2.

What To Study During Week 3

  • Step 1: Take and score a full-length SAT practice test in a single setting.
  • Step 2: Review your practice test.
  • Step 3: Study for each section of the test following your study calendar.

Practice SAT Vocabulary Words

SAT 1 Month Study Plan: Week 4


Okay, it’s the week of the real thing! You should still spend a bulk of the week studying, but you’ll want to make sure to take a day or two off before the test. Do not cram. Since this is the final week, you’ll want to focus on the areas of the SAT where you know you can pick up some extra points.

If your practice test results show broad concepts that you are still missing (e.g., you get nearly all Functions questions wrong on the Math section, this isn’t the time to learn how functions work. You’re unlikely to master the concept in such a short amount of time so you’re better off working to perfect a concept in which you are more firm (question types you are getting right at least 50% of the time).

What To Study During Week 4

  • Step 1: Take and score a full-length SAT practice test in a single sitting.
  • Step 2: Review your practice test.
  • Step 3: Study for each section of the test, focusing on topics that you have not yet mastered, but are getting right at least 50% of the time. Spend time reviewing any test-taking methods or strategies you’ve learned over the course of the past month for each section.
  • Step 4: Give yourself some downtime. Make sure to block off the day or two before Test Day and to resist all urges to study more. For the day of the test, don’t change up your routine—go to bed when you usually would to wake up in time for the test, eat the breakfast you usually eat, etc.
  • Step 5: Crush the SAT!

SAT Prep Materials


There are a lot of prep materials available to help you study for the SAT in a month. 

Top Choices for SAT Prep

  • Kaplan’s SAT Prep Books

    Kaplan has a variety of New SAT books, so you can choose the one that’s perfect for you. Whether you opt for SAT Prep Plus or SAT Total Prep, you will benefit from Kaplan’s score-raising methods and strategies.

  • SAT On Demand

    Kaplan’s SAT Prep On Demand Course is a flexible program that can be completed in a month. Teachers lead you through this streamable learning experience with over 50 instructional videos and 1000+ practice questions. 

  • Take a Class or get an expert tutor

    Kaplan has SAT classes that last one month or less. Prep with an expert in a SAT Prep Live Online course, where you’ll get 18 hours of core instruction and work with a team of teachers to keep you motivated. For a more personalized experience, work with an SAT expert tutor who will guide your prep based on your unique needs.

Should You Take the Digital or Paper SAT? Quiz