Knowing the Amount of Time You Need to Study for Your SAT


Preparing for the SAT can be an overwhelming and daunting challenge. That said, knowing exactly how much time you need to dedicate to study for it is essential in making sure you’re ready to perform well on the test.

If you do not know where to begin, look no further than our valuable pointers below.

a) Determine How Many Hours You Can Study per Week

The first order of business is to determine how occupied you are as a student. Is your schedule so packed with academics and extracurriculars that you can only find an hour to study in the evenings? Alternatively, do you have the type of schedule that allows you to devote three hours per day, five days per week for an SAT prep?

The general recommendation is to devote at least 10 hours to it. It’s usually not worth taking the test if you can’t study for at least 10 hours. If you’re going to spend six or more hours on the SAT (including travel time and last-minute preparation), you might as well put in at least that much time studying.

The recommended minimum time to prepare is 40 hours. Every hour counts when time is of the essence. On the other hand, a rigorous study program akin to a boot camp often takes around 100 hours.

Calculating the exact number of study hours required to achieve the desired SAT score is crucial.

Next, take an approved SAT practice test to determine your starting point score. This is a good benchmark to use as you begin studying for it. Determine how much time you will need to study once you have your starting and ending points for the test. Subtract your starting score from your target score to do this.  The rule of thumb is that the more time you put into studying, the larger your expected score gain will be.

b) Select a Convenient Time and Date for the Test

If you want to do well on the SAT, you need to schedule the exam for a time when you will have plenty of time to prepare.

You should pick a date at least a few months in advance to give yourself enough time to adjust your calendar to accommodate study sessions. You won’t have as much time to study or change your schedule if you pick a date that’s relatively soon (i.e., less than a month before the test). (In a similar vein, if you choose your day far in advance, you won’t have to worry about paying more for registering late.)

In addition, choose a date when there is little else going on. In this way, you won’t have to drastically alter your routine and may focus on your studies without having to sacrifice other hobbies.

c) Spend a Minimum of Two Months Studying

If you only have a week or two to prepare, you won’t be able to retain any of the reviewed materials. In the end, you need to give your brain enough time to absorb and remember information for the SAT. So, study for at least two months before the exam at the bare minimum. More than six months is ideal.

However, if your exam is imminent and you have barely any time to prepare, don’t panic! You can still achieve well if you make the most of the time you have available.


If you’re taking the SAT, you probably want to know how long you should study for it. The answer isn’t simple, and it may depend on several factors, including how much time you have before the test, how much you’ve already studied, and how well you do on practice tests. The best way to figure out how much time you need to study is to take a practice test and see how you score. Then, you can create a study plan based on your specific needs.

If you are looking for a well-trusted institution that offers only the best SAT prep, look no further than our services here at Kenny Tan Test Prep. We help students get into the best public and private schools, including Ivy League and other top-tier universities. Call us today, and let us help you prepare for one of the most significant tests of your academic career.