3 Tips to Avoid Falling Behind on SAT or ACT Prep

3 min read

It may seem easy to simply put off studying until the next day, but it is likely that this will not translate to success in either the SAT or ACT exam.  We’ve put together some tips to ensure your preparations don’t fall by the wayside.

1. Set attainable study goals

Imagine you have several complex homework assignments due in one week. If you don’t create a concrete plan to complete them, will you finish them on time?

If you don’t have a schedule, it can be far too easy to procrastinate on academic work. However, many young students can also be too ambitious with their study plans. For example, if you schedule three hours of studying for a day when you also have after-school activities, this is not likely to be realistic.

Instead, try and ensure you set manageable goals. It could be more beneficial to spend 25 minutes studying for the SAT or ACT exam per day, rather than set aside two 90 minute sessions each week.

This could also help with your focus; you may find it much easier to remain fully engaged for shorter periods of time and that focused studying allows you to make more progress in the long run.

2. Incentivise your study goals

It is more than likely that studying is not your favourite activity. To avoid falling behind on your SAT or ACT exam prep, set up incentives for progress you make via small rewards. This will not only help with studying for your college entrance exam, but could also help with training yourself to set and accomplish goals throughout your life.

For example, if you enjoy video games, allow yourself and hour of play after you review SAT questions for an hour.

Whatever your reward is, you may enjoy it more after earning it – and you will remain on track with your SAT or ACT preparation.

3. Vary your study materials and methods

When studying, it can be easy to become bored. To make sure you don’t fall into a revision rut, vary your materials and methods to keep your study time engaging.

For instance, you could use a guidebook, online videos, and alternate between timed and untimed practice tests – changing your focus between speed and accuracy.


Preparing for the SAT and ACT exams can seem daunting. However, focus on the elements you can control: your behaviour and the processes of working towards a strong score, to ensure success.

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