The Study Plan Spreadsheet recommends too many study hours.
The spreadsheet calculates the number of hours needed to study based on what I’ve found to be true for the average student. For instance, the average student will improve at a rate of 1 scaled score point increase per 50-75 hours of studying. This rate may be higher for the average student based on other factors such as difficulties with certain subjects, history with English, etc. We take these factors into account in the spreadsheet, but obviously, we can’t take into account every factor under the sun and for this reason, we can’t know with exact certainty what your unique rate of improvement will be.
That being said, with my private tutoring students, I plan for the average. This means, I’d recommend making your plan based on the recommendations in the spreadsheet and then adjusting along the way if once you begin to discover that your unique rate of improvement is different from the average student. You can always adjust your plan down the road based on this new information, but at the beginning when we don’t know yet, I believe it is best to plan based on what is true for the average student.
This may mean that you will need to adjust your goal score to be lower so that the spreadsheet will give you a number of study hours that is more realistic given your situation. It may also mean extending your test day to give yourself the amount of time required to truly succeed on this exam. If you’d like some one-on-one help deciding which actions to take, I’d recommend signing up for one of our low-cost tutoring packages.