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Test Prep

Fiske’s Study Tips

Study Tip Information adapted from Fiske Nailing the New SAT.

Find the right study space.

Study in a place where you will have minimal distractions. For extended study periods or for practice tests, you may want to consider studying somewhere other than your home. For routine study sessions, pick somewhere at home away from clutter, TV, or excessive noise.

Begin with a bang.

The best way to get started with test prep is during a weekend or school break when you can devote at least five hours of focus to test prep in the span of a day or two.

Don’t make your sessions too long.

Once you get started, you'll retain more information in four 45-minute study sessions per week than in one 3-hour study session in one day.

Schedule downtime afterward.

Try to wind down after you study—watch TV, read a magazine, etc. Take a break before studying something else or working on homework.

Spend time on practice test questions.

Many people find it helpful to devote about 75 percent of study time to practicing test questions. You might have to look up words, or refresh your math or English skills, but try to focus on actual test problems.

Simulate the real test.

Whenever you take a practice test, or even just one section of a practice test, simulate the real test. There won’t be music, so try to avoid listening to music. You won’t be able to get up and walk around whenever you want, so try to stay seated. You may also want to use a stopwatch to time yourself during each section.

For full-length practice tests and more test-prep tips and strategies, check out Fiske Nailing the New SAT, Gruber's Complete PSAT/NMSQT Guide, Gruber's Complete SAT Guide, or Gruber's Complete ACT Guide in our bookstore.