COLLEGE CHEAT SHEET
Yikes, SAT!: What to do Before the Test
A compiled list of helpful tips to get that high score.
The clock reads 11:13 PM and you’re rapidly skimming through Barron’s SAT Practice, trying to helplessly absorb whatever information you can right before the SAT. Sound familiar?
Another year breeds another set of juniors and seniors taking one of the most dreaded exams in the universe: the SAT.
As stressful as the test can be, below is a compiled list of helpful tips to lessen the load and make the exam a little less nerve racking.
Months Before the Exam
Measure your abilities
By taking a diagnostic test, you’ll be able to see where you stand and pinpoint what you need to work on. At first, the results may be discouraging, but remember, practice makes perfect!
Instead of study, study, study, you should prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. Create a study schedule and prioritize your time for the SAT. You should leave at least 30 minutes per day regardless of how busy you are for practice. Remember, preparing for the SAT should be like running a marathon: slow and steady.
A Week Before
Take at least one or two practice exams
Much like the diagnostic test, a practice test helps you understand your abilities. You can compare the two test scores to see how much you have improved and how much you need to improve.
Continue to study and really hone your skills down. Go over all your skills, especially your weak points.
A Day Before the Exam
According to Williams College psychologist Nate Kornell, last minute cramming won’t help you at all because you’ll probably not remember it anyways. Instead, why not take a break for a day?
Make sure to get a sufficient amount of sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, eight to ten hours of sleep are needed for optimal functioning. It’s a well-known fact that isn’t emphasized enough, especially in schools. Another study led by researchers from Ghent and KU Leuven universities in Belgium concluded that students who get a good night’s sleep perform better on exams than those who don’t.
Have everything ready for the big day
Make sure to print out your SAT I.D. and go over the list of items you must bring. If you’re taking the SAT at another school, be sure to check where the location of it is.
The Day of the Test
Follow your morning routine
On a day of such importance, there’s no doubt that you’ll be anxious. After all, it’s only a test that may determine what college you’re heading towards. No biggie, right? To lessen your anxiety, stick to a routine you’re familiar with.
Arrive on time
Arrive no later than 7:45 at your location. When you get to your test center, you need time to find your name on a list to know what area you will be taking your test. Remember there’s always the chance of traffic or any other unpredictable delay. Failure to come on time may cause you to cancel your score.
After the exam, if you feel confident about the test, don’t cancel your score and see how well you did. If you don’t feel so confident about the test you can always cancel your score. Remember, you can always retake the SAT. Good luck, study hard and don’t give up Wolves!
—Gina Kim on November 16, 2017