24 Jan How To Prepare the Day Before the SAT – Blog
Taking the SAT
How To Prepare the Day Before
By: ULC Educational Support Staff
If you are gearing up to take the SAT, you may be feeling a wide range of emotion. You may be excited, because this test influences your acceptance into the college of your choice. You may be nervous for the same reason. And, if you don’t like taking tests, you may be fearful. Of course, these emotions are common, but there is one thing you must do. Just relax and breath. As nerve-wrecking as the SAT is, remember that it is just a test. It is just like a high school midterm or final exam, and it is not the only factor colleges take into consideration.
In addition to taking a deep breath and trying to relax, there are several other ways to physically and emotionally prepare for the SAT, especially the day before the test. What are they?
- Make sure you have everything you need to get into the test. To eliminate confusion, overbooking, and cheating, all students must have their SAT ticket and a valid form of photo identification. If you do not have these items, you may be unable to take the test. Ensure you have them the night before and store in a safe location.
- Pack a small bag for your other needed supplies. For the test, you will need two number two pencils, an eraser, and a working calculator. Before putting these items inside your bag, check their format and function. Your calculator needs to have new batteries because if it they die during the test, you are out of luck. All pencils must be number two for proper scoring of your bubble sheet.
- Pack a small snack and drink. Your test will be long. You will be at the testing center for at least four hours, so you will likely get hungry and thirsty. During the SAT, you will have a couple of short breaks, so pack a dry snack and a drink.
- Review your notes or study guides. This should not be considered a study session, but a review. Just read your notes, go through your practice flashcards, or skim the highlighted sections of your SAT study guide. This should not be the first time you are looking at these. The night before the test, it is best to review and not technically study. This will help to reduce your anxiety level.
- Set your alarm clock. As you likely already know, the SAT starts early. Most students are expected to arrive at their designated test center by 7:45 in the morning. If you are not a morning person, an alarm clock is needed. Set your alarm clock the night before. When doing so, be sure to account for the snooze button. Don’t get up 30 minutes before you need to leave if you know you will spend those 30 minutes pressing the snooze button. In terms of the SAT, the earlier the better. The earlier that you get up, the less of a rush you are in. If you are late, you may not be allowed to test and you will not be refunded your testing fee.
- Eat a healthy and fulfilling breakfast. The SAT is a 4-hour test, so you want to be sure you are energized. Be sure to have a healthy breakfast with foods that are not sugary. If you have something too sweet, you will have energy at first, but will “crash” and get sleepy. Also, pack a couple snacks for breaks to keep your energy and focus up. Things like fruit, nuts, peanut butter crackers, yogurt, water are great choices. Chips, soda, cookies, snack cakes, fruit juices or candy are not recommended.
- Go to bed early. Many students make a costly mistake the night before the SAT. That mistake is staying up all night studying. As nerve wrecking as the SAT is, a late-night cramming session the night before the test will not do any good. In fact, it may worsen your score. Review your notes, flash cards, or study guides earlier in the afternoon or evening, but leave the night for sleeping. You may be surprised to know but getting a good night’s sleep is one of the easiest ways to improve test score.
If you do all these things to prepare for test day, you will be alert and ready to test at your highest level of focus. Good luck!