Test-Taking Strategies
The Day Before the Test
Our advice for the day before the test is:
  • Don’t do any SAT prep work!
  • Don’t do any SAT prep work!
  • Don’t do any SAT prep work!
Whatever factoid you might gain the night before will be more than outweighed by the anxiety you’ll be producing. Watch a movie. Hang out with friends. Read a book. Play a video game. Go for a run. Do something other than studying for the SAT.
Run through the following checklist and put everything in your bag or backpack the night before so you won’t have to worry about it in the morning:
Timepiece
Approved calculator with fresh batteries
Approved backup calculator with fresh batteries
More fresh batteries
At least four sharpened No. 2 pencils
A small pencil sharpener
An extra big eraser that really works
A photo ID
Your admissions ticket
A snack
Tissues, even if you’re not sniffly
Layers, in case it’s cold in the room
A portable CD or mp3 player, if you think music will calm or focus you during breaks
Remember:
  • You can’t use an alarm during the test.
  • You can’t eat or drink during the test inside the testing room.
  • You can’t bring in any scratch paper, notes, books, highlighters, pens, protractors, etc. Check out the full list of accepted and prohibited materials at: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/testday/bring.html
  • You can’t use your mp3 player or CD player inside the test room.
  • You must turn off your cell phone.
Go to bed at your usual time. If you can’t fall asleep, don’t worry about it. Worrying is what keeps you awake. Try some deep-breathing exercises and realize that no matter how little sleep you end up getting, you’ll be revved up for the test, come morning.
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