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
  • 200 points for each day each member answered a question on the Daily Practice for the SAT app
  • 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.