Your 6 Month Test-Prep Study Guide Schedule

Creating a study schedule shouldn’t be overwhelming.

While we strongly advise on using a tutor and coach to help you earn the best score you can, here is an example of how to create a study schedule based on a six-month timeline.

6 Month Study Plan

  • 3 days a week
  • 1 ½ hour each day
  • 80 + hours of study time


Month 1: Practice Tests and Data Analysis-Cycle 1

Week 1: Start the process by taking a full-length (untimed) practice test to get a baseline score for the exam.

This first practice test will give you a feel for how the test is formatted, what type of questions are asked in each section, and provide a better understanding of where you are starting (strengths and weaknesses). Feel free to take this practice test in sections…do not rush!

Week 2: Score and break down the data to find strengths and weaknesses.

Reflect on:

  • Main features of the test
  • Strengths (questions you got correct)
  • Weaknesses (questions you got wrong)
  • Types of questions that were confusing
  • Answer choices that confused you during the test
  • Make notes (in detail) of items that you need to study and areas where you need to review.

Week 3: Once you have an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, take a second practice test.

This time follow the time requirements. For example, the SAT Math section is 80 minutes in length, take that specific section and time the process. Repeat this format for each area of the test; break up each timed section and complete the full exam over the span of a week.

Week 4:Score the “timed” test and break down the data to find strengths and weaknesses when it comes to question types.

See if you made any additional mistakes when you had to factor in the time restraints. Reflect on:

  • Did you make careless mistakes?
  • Did you make mistakes based on the format of the test?
  • Did you make any new mistakes based on the content of the test because of the time restraints?
  • Make notes (in detail) of items that you need to study and areas where you need to review.

Month 2-3: Study The Questions

Now that you have a better understanding of the exam….it is time to study the question types! Take each section of the exam and begin to dive into the areas where you struggled. Review the questions you got wrong, focusing on errors and content connected to those types of questions. Review, refresh and familiarize yourself with each subject area.

Focus on:

  • Reviewing basic math topics
  • Building algebra foundations and geometry concepts
  • Having a better understanding of problem-solving and data analysis foundations
  • Review English Grammar and punctuation concepts
  • Building confidence in reading comprehension and the types of questions asked for each passage
  • Work on writing foundations and essay formatting (if completing essay component)


Month 4: Practice Test and Data Analysis-Cycle 2

Week1: Take another timed practice test.

Try to make this test mimic the actual testing environment as much as possible. If the test is 3 hours and 50 minutes with a 15-minute break, mimic the testing environment as closely as possible.

Week 2: Analyze the timed practice test

When you analyze the timed practice test, look at the content materials where you struggled and if you had any timing issues. When analyzing the questions you got wrong, ask:
Did I get that question wrong because I don’t know the answer/content?
Did I get that question wrong because I rushed and didn’t think out the question and answer choices?
In each section, take note of:
Areas of the test where you ran out of time
Areas of the test where you had time to spare
Make notes (in detail) of items that you need to study and areas where you need to review.

Week 3-4: Pinpoint your weaknesses

Pinpoint your weaknesses with this practice test and break down those elements…again. Look at each test question as follows:
Improving mindset: review questions you got incorrect and focus on fixing the error
Enhancing mindset: study the questions you got right to improve speed and efficiency

Month 5: Study

Continue to analyze your timed practice test and better understand weaknesses when dealing with content. Continue to building knowledge of the tested materials in each content area and add in the idea of testing strategies.

Content Knowledge:

  • building advanced mathematical skills
  • gaining knowledge about problem-solving
  • increasing knowledge of reading comprehension
  • focusing on writing prompts (if you are taking the essay component)
  • Memorizing formulas for Math concepts
  • Refresh on grammar rules

Testing Strategies:

  • Work on eliminating wrong answer choices
  • Look for the incorrect answers to help find the correct one- Process of elimination
  • Deciding between 2 “good” answer choices
  • There are times when two answers look correct- learn how to pick the correct answer
  • Practice finding evidence from the reading passage to answer questions

Month 6: Practice Tests and Data Analysis-Cycle 3

Week 1:Take another full-length timed practice test.

 Make this test mimic the actual testing environment as much as possible. This will be your last full length timed practice test, so make it count.

Week 2:Score the test and review your answers.

Focus on any last minute issues that may present themselves. Make note of any question types and/or test-taking strategies that may need more attention.

Week 3-4:iron out all of the minor kinks.

Take these last two weeks to iron out all of the minor kinks.  Take your third “Practice Test and Data Analysis Cycle” and should be used to address only small concerns. You are at the end of the study plan and ready to attack the test with confidence and determination.


Good Luck!


How can MINDSPIRE help with the SSAT Prep?

At MINDSPIRE, we provide tutoring and test prep that is tailored to specific learning styles and individual needs. If you are interested in getting a tutor for any standardized test click here to learn more or give us a call at 844-537-PREP (7737).


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