If your student is planning to take the SAT this fall, time is running out if they have yet to prepare for the big exam. One full year of prep time is best, but that doesn’t mean your child cannot start studying now if they are testing in October, November and/or December.

Here are three ways you can help them prepare:

1. Sign up for a prep course now: SAT prep courses can be expensive, but if it’s in the budget, you may find it will be worth the investment. A structured course will not only prepare your student for the test, but teach them good study habits that will benefit them long term. Expect to pay anywhere from $150-$600 for an in-person course. Online courses may be less expensive. St. Pete College offers an online course starting next week (Click here to see course offerings). The College Board and The Princeton Review also offer online courses (The College Board , Princeton Review ).

2. Practice, practice, practice: If your student hasn’t already taken a practice test, now is the time. A    practice test will point to your student’s strengths and weaknesses so you both can come up with a study plan to tackle the more difficult areas of the test. There is a FREE practice test on September 9th at the Dunedin Public Library according to The Princeton Review. You can find practice tests online through The Princeton Review and The College Board, but also consider purchasing ‘The Official SAT Study Guide, with DVD’ by The College Board. We found it on Amazon for less than $ will also help you develop a personalized study plan and offers more than 200 videos through Khan Academy!

3. Hire a tutor: If you feel your child needs one on one support, consider hiring a personal tutor to guide your child through the preparation for this very important test.

A test like the SAT can cause a lot of anxiety. While preparation for the actual exam is necessary, it is also important to teach your child about easing any testing anxiety they may be experiencing. Being prepared is obvious, but don’t underestimate the power of good sleep habits, exercise, a healthy diet, and a positive attitude. If your child is still feeling stressed, encourage them to ask for help and talk about their feelings.