Very few students would rather study than spend their free time relaxing. But the SAT won’t ace itself. How can you make more of your study time? By using these four SAT study tips to improve your scores!

Study Tip #1: Sleep Between Study Sessions

If you ever pull an all-night study session, you’re doing it wrong. Let’s be honest: it’s tempting to leave off school and prep work for the last day, because we believe we can “cram” a lot of knowledge into our heads at the last minute and still do okay on the test. Unfortunately, what we know about memory retention is that it just doesn’t work that way. It’s far better to start now and remain consistent with your study habits.

The best way to think of this in terms of an SAT study tip is to consider sleep as your brain’s method of “downloading” new information. The more you can fit in study sessions before going to bed, the more you’re going to remember. Even if you study just 20 minutes a day, you can use the power of sleep to your advantage… Or you just might find yourself losing sleep before the SAT.

Study Tip #2: Cut Out Distractions

“Yeah, yeah,” you’re thinking. “I know distractions are bad.” But do you know how bad they are? A recent report noted in the Washington Post found that the average worker loses six hours of productivity per day to distractions. That’s 75 percent of their time down the drain.

How is that much distraction possible? Simple: when you get distracted, you also have to spend time getting back to where you were. This can double the time lost to each distraction. One text message doesn’t distract you for ten seconds—it distracts you for a minute, two minutes, even five minutes as you think of responses and get caught in a text chain.

When you sit down to study, turn off that smart phone, disconnect the Internet, put a sign on your door that says “Do Not Disturb,” and set an egg timer. Don’t stop until that egg timer dings. You’ll spend less time studying overall while getting more out of each session. That means you can get the most out of your studying session while still having more time to do other fun things too!

Study Tip #3: Starting is Half the Battle

When you’re halfway through an hour-long gym visit, you don’t have to summon will power and motivation to continue. You’re already there. Similarly, the hardest part of getting a study session out of the way isn’t the ending. It’s the beginning. It’s when you’re texting with friends or watching a favorite TV show that studying feels like the last thing on Earth you’d like to do.

So remember that starting is half the battle, and treat it accordingly.

Study Tip #4: Join A SAT Prep Course

But one of the best ways to remain accountable is to take the first step toward an SAT prep course. Parents, register the student in your life for an SAT prep course today if you’re interested in helping them make the most of their SAT study time.