Most teens today are so regularly swamped with both school work and extracurricular activities that they sometimes have difficulty managing their schedule. Teens who will be taking their SAT in preparation for college have even more tasks to contend with.

For students who will be taking the SAT, there is high chance many of them will fail to balance their regular school activities and preparing for their test. Because of this, their GPA will suffer or they will get a failing score on their SAT. Worse still, they may fail both in school and in their exam.

The key to succeeding in your last year in high school is to balance test prep with your schoolwork. Whether you are studying and taking SAT test prep classes in Dubai or in any other city, follow the tips below to excel both in school and your actual exam:

1.   Set your SAT target score

Before setting a plan for balancing schoolwork and test prep, determine the SAT score you want to achieve.

By knowing the score you need or want to get, you will have something concrete to work hard for. And this will help you figure out how much time you need to dedicate to study for the SAT. Your target score will also serve as your primary motivation to stick to your exam study plan.

If you want to know the right or realistic SAT score to aim for, compute the average of the 75th percentile scores for the universities and colleges you are interested in. If you get at least the 75th percentile score for a certain school, you will be deemed a more competitive, desirable applicant.

2.   Create a study plan

If you haven’t made an action plan for this school year, now is the time to do so. If you already have one, revise it to include SAT test prep.

Be specific in writing your action plan or with revising it. State the number of hours you want to put in every week studying for the SAT. Put in where you plan to study as well (at home, in school, or at a review center).

In case you already know your weak subject areas, commit to a specific number of hours to focus on learning strategies to increase your chances of getting a high score in these sections.

And when creating your action plan, make sure you don’t neglect your schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

3.   Make a weekly schedule

Once you have created your action plan, it’s time to create your weekly schedule.

Make sure you already know your SAT test date. Find out the total number of hours you have to study before this date. Next, divide this by the number of weeks you have until your test to determine how many hours per week you should be studying.

Additionally, list down all the other activities you have to do. These should include completing homework and projects, studying for exams and quizzes, and extracurricular activities. Determine how many hours you need to allow to do them as well.

The key to creating a great weekly schedule is to ensure it is doable. Don’t cram in as many activities as you can each day; you probably won’t be able to do them all anyway. Consider your capabilities and be realistic so that you can come up with a schedule you can stick to.

And to ensure you follow this schedule, print it out and post it in places where you can easily see it.

4.   Share your plan with your family and friends

You don’t have to prepare for the SAT and do all your schoolwork alone; you can ask your family and friends for help.

By letting your family and close friends know your weekly studying schedule, you will have other persons reminding you of when to start studying.

For instance, if you are working on a project that you can’t seem to finish, if your mom or dad has a copy of your schedule, they can tell you to stop for now and proceed to your next task.

However, don’t always depend on your parents, siblings, or friends for reminders. Set alerts on your phone and add a note on why you should start doing something.

5.   Assess and adjust your weekly schedule frequently

Every week or so, find out how successful you’ve been in following your schedule. If you find yourself deviating from your allotted hours of studying for the SAT or you’ve been skipping your after-school activities, you need to adjust your schedule.

When making adjustments, be sure you don’t sacrifice study time since you need this to reach your target score. However, ensure your SAT prep won’t get in the way of your schoolwork as well.

Make the needed adjustments but don’t reduce the time you have for schoolwork and preparing for the SAT. This may mean waking up earlier or spending less time watching TV.

Although your last year in high school will definitely be stressful, you can reduce your worries and end your year on a high note by following the tips above.


Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.