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Taking a Practice Test
Please Note:
The last administration of the SAT II Writing was on 1/22/05. Beginning 3/12/05, parts of the SAT II Writing test will be included in the New SAT. You should be studying the New SAT book. Go there!
Taking a Practice Test
Now you know a bit about what to do when you’re finished taking the test. Let’s backtrack and talk about what to do while you’re actually taking the practice test.
Controlling Your Environment
Although a practice test is practice, and no one but you needs to see your scores, you should do everything in your power to make the practice test feel like the real SAT II Writing. The closer your practice resembles the real thing, the more helpful it will be.
When taking a practice test, follow these rules:
Take the tests timed.
Don’t give yourself any extra time. Be stricter with yourself than the meanest proctor you can think of. Also, don’t give yourself time off for bathroom breaks. If you have to go to the bathroom, let the clock keep running; that’s what’ll happen on the real SAT II.
Take the test in a single sitting.
Training yourself to endure an hour of test taking is part of your preparation.
Find a place to take the test that holds no distractions.
Don’t take the practice test in a room with lots of people walking through it. Go to a library, your bedroom, a well-lit closet, anywhere quiet. Otherwise your concentration won’t be what it should be and your practice test won’t reflect your true capabilities, or your true weaknesses.
These are the rules of taking practice tests. Now, having stated them, we can relax a little bit: don’t be so strict with yourself that studying and taking practice tests becomes unbearable. The most important thing is that you actually study. Do whatever you have to do in order to make your studying interesting and painless enough that you actually do it.
Ultimately, if you can follow all of the above rules to the letter, you will probably be better off. But, if following those rules makes studying excruciating, find little ways to bend them that won’t interfere too much with your concentration.
Practice Test Strategy
You should take each practice test as if it were the real SAT II Writing. Don’t be more daring than you would be on the actual test, guessing blindly even when you can’t eliminate an answer; don’t carelessly speed through the test. Don’t flip through this book while taking the practice exam just to sneak a peek. Follow the rules for guessing and for skipping questions that we outlined in the chapter on strategy. The more closely your attitude and strategies during the practice test reflect those you’ll employ during the actual test, the more predictive the practice test will be of your strengths and weaknesses and the more fruitful your studying of the test will be.
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