One of the most important things for studying the SAT at home is to have a clean, well-organized SAT Study Area. How yours is set up have a major effect on how efficiently you can study. The goal here is to set up a clean, well-organized space where you can sit down and study with a minimum of distractions.

Pick An SAT Study Area

First things first, find an area you want to study in. Ideally, this is somewhere quiet where you can sit down, set up, and work without being distractions. This could be your desk, a dining table, or a bean bag- anywhere you can sit comfortably and write without struggle.

Ideally, this would be a space all to yourself, but sometimes that isn’t possible. In that case, you might want to make a bag of SAT study materials, and use that to set up in whatever quiet, out-of-the-way spot is available. If you go this route, also clear a place to put your bag, and return your items to it.

Clear Off Your SAT Study Area

Before you begin to organize, start with a clean slate. Clean it off, and find places for whatever was taking up the space before. You want this to be a place you can keep clear, so if there’s anything you clean off it, you need to take steps make sure those things won’t just end up on in the space again. If you clear off a book from a desk, either put it in its spot on a bookshelf or find some other space where it can live.

If your study area is a shared table, then you might need to do this step regularly. When possible, talk with the other people who you share the space with to work out an agreement to keep it clear.

Figure Out What Your Study Space Needs

Everyone’s space will be a little different, but usually for the SAT, you’ll need:

  • your SAT study materials (Books, practice tests, etc.)
  • something to write with
  • a couple sheets of scratch paper
  • a calculator for the math section

If you need anything else, like a notebook, pens, or timer, feel free to add them to this list. However, make sure that you can give everything a place in your study area or in your study bag. You want them close at hand, so you don’t waste time looking for them and risk getting distracted. Know what you need, and gather your materials.

Give Everything a Place

Everything in your study area needs to have a place, whether that’s a static place in your study area or in a bag that you can move to your spot when it’s time to study. Anything you use just needs a place to go back to. Your pencils could live in a pen cup or a pencil bag. Your scratch paper might go in a folder or in stack in a nearby drawer. The rules for your thing’s places are: accessible without leaving your seat, nowhere you’re going to step on it or knock it over, and not on top of anything unstable.

Put Things Away

Now that everything is neat and set up for studying, your job is to keep it that way. Spend a couple of moments after your study sessions everything back in its place. Gather up all your pencils and put them in their container. If you have an SAT study bag, everything goes back in the bag. Everything that you used should be returned to its place. Regular maintenance will help ensure that your SAT study area stays clean and usable, so you can get straight to studying.


That’s it! We hope your SAT study area helps you reach the scores of your dreams! If you want more SAT and ACT prep advice sure to join our mailing list for a free 27-item checklist and 30-day free SAT email course.


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