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How SAT & ACT Prep is Like Training for a Marathon

What do you do the night before a Biology exam? More than likely, you stay up late to cram a bunch of content into your brain. 

OK, so what does a marathon runner do the night before a big race? Do you think she stays up late to cram in a bunch of last minute training? 

Of course not. 

You can cram for a Biology exam because you only need to recall the content for a short period of time. 

You can’t cram for a marathon because you would actually harm your body. 

Same goes for the SAT and ACT. Think of them as the marathons of tests. 

Consider that both the SAT and the ACT, are not content-based tests. They are more about context. To perform well on context-based tests, your brain needs to be rested, focused and clear in order to think critically and solve problems. Cramming the night before will only hurt your ability to perform at an optimum level. 

Furthermore, the SAT and the ACT are long tests. Sitting for the SAT and ACT requires 3-4 hours of intense focus. Focus for the SAT and ACT is developed over time. To be comfortable in a long test, you need to practice taking the test for long periods of time. 

Finally, remember that a marathon runner doesn’t just show up on race day without undergoing some kind of training program. And the more a runner is dedicated to a training program, the more success will ensue. 

So train hard and long for both the SAT and ACT. When there is a week left for the test, like the marathon runner, taper your training. Reduce your studying, get lots of rest the week and do whatever your brain and body need to get into optimal performance mode for test day. 

Learn more by reading 2400 SCORES: 24 Life Lessons to Demystify the SAT and Boost Your Score by Brooke Higgins now available on Amazon. 

And contact CROSSWALK for information on private tutoring, test prep and SAT/ACT Boot Camps on the Monterey Peninsula. 

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