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Study for the SAT at the library if you want to be extremely efficient. After all of these years of studying for various exams, I’ve learned that one location is the most conducive to concentrated studying – the library. When I was in high school studying for the SAT, I prepared exclusively at the library. And today, when I study for medical school exams, I still prepare exclusively at the library. There is simply no better place to study.

Home is full of distractions. At home, not only is there an abundance of technology around (computers, laptops, TVs, etc.), but there are also non-tech distractions – your little sister, your mother, your dog, etc. Home is typically too comfortable of a setting to study in. The library on the other hand, has very few distractions. You can’t talk in the library. If you keep your WiFi off at the library, you can avoid most technology. There are no TVs at the library. There are no family interruptions at the library. The library is pretty much the most boring place on the planet. And that is why the library is the perfect place to study.

I have a challenge for you. Spend 2 hours at the library doing concentrated studying. Then, spend 2 hours at home doing concentrated studying. Compare how effective the studying at each location was. Did you get more studying done at the library then at home? Did you get distracted less at the library compared to home? Did you seem to absorb the information better at the library then at home? My guess is that the answer to all of these questions will be yes! Take the challenge – if it doesn’t work for you, you can say you proved me wrong. But if it does work for you, I may have just changed your academic life.

Of course, I understand that not everyone has a library readily accessible that they can study at. In that case, you want to try to create an environment that is as similar to a library as possible. This means a large desk space that is clear of clutter, a quiet area where you will not be distracted by others, sufficient lighting so that you are not squinting when reading, an actual chair (studying in your bed is just too comfortable to do SAT prep), and most importantly a study environment free from the distractions of technology.

Shaan Patel

Shaan Patel is the founder of Prep Expert Test Preparation, a #1 bestselling SAT & ACT prep author, an MD/MBA student at Yale and USC, and winner of an investment deal with billionaire Mark Cuban on ABC’s Shark Tank. He raised his own SAT score from average to perfect using 100 strategies that we teach in our Prep Expert SAT and ACT courses.

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