Well let’s say that you are doing a total of about 24 hours of tutoring. You’re working with a tutor 3 hours per week so you will need 8 weeks of prep. But there are holidays and people get sick, so let’s plan for 2.5 to 3 months of prep to be safe. If you start now, you’ll be ready for the January test date.
After January, you’ll have the March, May, June and September test dates to retake the exam if need be. But with all those test dates ahead, many students decide to focus on their classes and sports in the Fall and maybe even a volunteer activity (= highly recommend). A popular option is waiting to receive the PSAT results and using those results to tailor an SAT program that starts in December or January. Taking the March exam will give you plenty of future test dates if you should want to take the exam again (May, June, September).
a word to the wise: the May test date is the most popular by far, but be careful as AP Exams also fall in May and it’s best not to have 2 very important exams in the same month.