In approximately 24 hours, hundreds of students will sit down and take the SAT. With this in mind, I offer some helpful hints of what a student can DO and what a student should NOT DO in the last day leading up to the test
Let’s start with the DOs:
DO gets lots of rest. Solving problems on the ACT and the SAT require logical thought-processing. If you are not rested, your brain won’t be able to think logically.
DO review test directions. You can save a lot of time on test day if you already know the directions. Get on the test websites to see test directions and be sure you understand them.
DO map out a plan to attack the test. Make sure you have a game plan for each question type. For example, on Math, be sure you use the answers to help you solve the problem. On Passage-Based Reading, attack the answer choices by connecting to evidence in the passage. Consider how the test is scored and how to manage your time to maximize your point total.
DO prepare the resources you need for test day. Get your admission ticket, snack, calculator, driving directions and the other items you need for test day all ready so you can wake up on test day and arrive stress-free.
DO approach the test as if it were a crossword puzzle or a riddle. If you critically think through each question and eagerly solve problems, your chances of success will improve.
And now for the DON”Ts:
DON’T stress. Stress is the enemy of test performance. The more you stress, the more anxiety you have and the less your brain can perform optimally.
DON’T cram. The ACT and SAT are not content-based tests. You cannot memorize the content the night before and then expect to do well. Better to rest and relax than try and cram.
DON’T think that your test score determines your future. You are more than a test score and there are many colleges that will want a student of your caliber, regardless of test score.
In all, there should be little studying tonight. Get your mindset focused on solving the problems you can solve. Remind yourself that the test is just one measurement of your performance but not the only one.