Half the battle of taking the SAT or ACT is mental. It’s a long test, and a hard test, and in order to do well on test day, you have to feel confident in how you’ve prepared and what you know.
Here are a few tips for owning test day:
Fake it till you make it
Have you heard of “faking it ‘till you make it?” While you may have last used that strategy at an upperclassman party your sophomore year, you can apply it to taking your college entrance exam, too. Have swagger (or fake it) on test day, because even feigned confidence is better than abject terror.
Dress in layers so if you overheat you can peel and if it is over air-conditioned you can layer-up.
It’s ok to guess
Remind yourself that when you encounter a question you just don’t know, guess, flag it so you know to go back to it, and move on without remorse. Obsessing over a question you don’t know the answer to is not likely to help you come to the solution, and it risks slowing you down to the point where questions might be left unanswered as time runs out.
Take care of yourself
Start going to bed early three nights before test day, because you may not sleep well the night before the test, no matter what you do. Exercise and eat well while you are studying; it’s worth the time away from your study materials to maintain a clear head.
Skip the pressure
Stay positive and remind yourself that anxiety will do nothing to serve you. Go easy on yourself if your score is lower than you wanted on your first go-around. Underachieving like this is a feature of the process, not a bug…. you’ll schedule a retake.
Take time to celebrate
And if you score above what you expected, take some time to celebrate with the friends you ignored while you studied.
Parents play a part, too
And parents – you have too little time left with your child living at home to poison the family flow with miserable months dogging them about studying and piling stress on. Select test prep materials that are fun (like ours).