Can you study for the SAT?

As students are conducting a college search, one of the things they know they will need to do is take the SAT. Most schools require your SAT scores as part of your college application, so you probably already know you should aim to get the highest score possible. But how can you do this?

You may have heard your friends say that it is impossible to study for the SAT. After all, how can you prepare for a test when you have no idea what questions they are going to ask.? Of course, you know the general subjects you will be quizzed on, but unfortunately, there is no way to know what vocabulary words the exam will include or what math equations you are going to have to know. So is it even worth it to study?

Actually, most experts say yes. While it is true that you won't ever know the exact questions that will be featured on your version of the SAT, it is more important that you familiarize yourself with the kinds of questions that will be asked. This can be pretty easy to do, since most bookstores carry texts that contain old versions of the SAT, which can be very helpful for familiarizing yourself with the test's format. If you can wrap your head around the way questions will likely be worded and how problems will be presented on the SAT, experts say it will be much easier for you to fly through the test with enough time to spare.

Once you have picked up a copy of an SAT prep book, you might also notice that your school and various private companies offers SAT classes. So after some preparation of your own, how useful are these types of courses? 

A 2009 study found that students who took SAT preparation classes saw their scores rise by an average of 30 points, Marketplace Life reports. However, the study also found that people who prepared for the test on their own could see their overall scores increase just as much. This information suggests that perhaps SAT prep courses are only going to be helpful if you are the type of student who works best with the guidance of a teacher or tutor. But if you are independent and focused enough to study for the test on your own, this should be good enough to feel prepared when taking the exam. 

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