Setting Goals for SAT Practice

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Goals help everyone get down to business and stay focused.

Set Personal Goals

Wanting to do well on the SAT is a good goal, but the best goals are specific and manageable. Answering more Heart of Algebra questions correctly when you take the second practice test is a good example.

Use College Score Ranges

You might want to set a target score. Here’s one way to do that: Go to College Search and look up a college you’d like to apply to. Click the Applying tab to find its test score ranges—what most students scored who were admitted and enrolled in the freshman class.

Results from your first full-length SAT practice test will give you a baseline score to build from and show you what areas you need to focus on. Work with your study group to improve your score. Be patient: It takes hard work and time to see change.

Make a Plan to Reach Your Goals

Here are some tips to help you meet your goals:

  • List possible obstacles, like work, sports, and hanging out with friends.
  • Brainstorm ways of working around them.
  • Break big goals into mini goals. What steps can you take to make success more likely?
  • Choose rewards for reaching mini goals. They can be simple things like watching a movie or going for a run.

Set Group Goals

Groups need goals, too. After all, they can help your team track its progress and celebrate its commitment. You could use a point system like this one:

  • 3,000 points for every meeting with full group attendance
  • 5,000 points for every full-length practice test taken as a group
  • 2,000 points for each section each member improves on between full-length practice tests
  • 1,000 points for each member who arrives to each meeting prepared
  • 1,000 points for each member who makes a clear answer explanation
  • 1,000 points for each member who asks a question

Make Points Mean Something

Choose milestones, like five weeks straight of full attendance for 4,000 additional group points, and assign rewards to each of them.

Note: Converting a study session into a celebration session is not advised.

Stay Inspired

Students across the country are working to get the best scores they can, and working together to do it.

Keep each other motivated: Share pictures of the team, post achievement milestones, and ask for and share practice strategies that have helped other groups. #SATPractice is a great place to start.