How to study smarter for the SAT


Signs for SAT prep opportunities are displayed in many classrooms as teachers and students gear up for the SAT in April. Photo by Amna Abbas.

Amna Abbas , Staff Writer


As March closes in on its final weeks, many students will be gearing up for spring break. But for many at RHS, juniors especially, something other than sandy beaches and tropical paradise will be on their mind: the SAT.

The SAT is coming up on Tuesday, April 10. With the date being less than a month away,  students who are taking it are not only trying to find ways to practice for the SAT, but stay on top of their schoolwork as well. Sophomore Zanib Khan has some tips for staying focused.

“If you want to stay motivated while studying, I’d say you should listen to music and take five minute breaks every half hour,” Khan said.

As an AP student, Khan is more than aware of the stresses that come with today’s school system. AP classes combined with the already rigorous courses offered at RHS can make for a tough schedule, during and after school. She finds that studying smarter is a key skill that many students could benefit from. As it turns out, many teachers have the same mindset on this topic.

“I think it would have to definitely be avoiding procrastination because it adds more stress,” English teacher Ms. Burke said.

Avoiding procrastination is one of the most difficult problems students face. In many cases, it is the one obstacle that is holding one back from reaching their full academic potential.

“My best advice [to avoid procrastination] is to do a little of the work each day or start ahead of the time. It’s best not to overwhelm yourself the night before the deadline,” said Khan. “If you end up doing that, then you and the teacher both get disappointed with the results.”

For students taking the SAT, advice on how to just manage schoolwork might not be enough. The multiple strategies that students around RHS have taken to advance their knowledge vary largely.

“I do Applerouth which is basically a personal tutor that helps you through everything,” junior Martha Kitula said. “You personalize a custom schedule planning to meet weekly for hour and a half, going over the material and then doing practice tests.”

While the traditional approach of one-and-one tutoring works for many, some like to be in a classroom environment with other students.

“Kabir’s Prep involves weekly instruction in a classroom and taking a diagnostic roughly every weekend,” junior Zeeba Ali said. “It’s really committed because it’s on the higher end of the price scale but there’s options for extra one-and-one tutoring if needed.”

Many also work better on their own, so solitary learning methods are their best option.

“Khan Academy’s personalized SAT courses have really helped me work on my weakest areas,” junior Emily Jinerson said. “It’s directly connected to College Board who actually distribute the SAT so it’s really effective.”