As we Revolutionaries tell all our students, “The difference between a ‘good day’ and a ‘bad day’ can be 200 points on your SAT!” You want to make sure to have a good day on the day of your test. In order to be in the Test Zone on test day, you need to start preparing a few days in advance. Here is a timeline of how you can best prepare yourself physically and mentally during the week before the test:
One week ahead:
At this point your goal is to stay healthy for next Saturday’s test. Start getting to bed a little earlier. Make sure you’re eating foods that make your body feel good. Plan your homework for the week so that you don’t have to stay up late on the Thursday or Friday before the test.
Hopefully by now you’ve studied hard and done a lot of practice for the test. Cramming won’t help you, so just do a little bit of SAT prep each night, just to keep your skills fresh. Be careful not to burn out on SAT stuff right before the test!
It’s two days before the test, and you know you’re about as ready as you can be. Make sure you eat a healthful dinner and get to bed on time tonight. The choices you make today can affect your success on Saturday.
If you planned ahead, you hopefully won’t have very much schoolwork to do tonight. You can work for an hour or so practicing the SAT skills you’ve learned, but otherwise, relax. Listen to music, go for a run, or do whatever you usually do to keep your stress level low.
It’s the day before the test and you will need to get up early tomorrow to be there on time. Stay in for the evening. Put together an “SAT bag” of all the things you will need for tomorrow’s test, including your admission ticket, picture ID, calculator (with extra batteries!!), sharpened pencils with good erasers, water, and snacks to eat during the breaks. Finally, eat a good meal, hang out with your family or a good book, and get to bed early.
Don’t do any studying (for school or SAT) tonight. Think back on all the practice you have done and experience confidence the that you are prepare to do your best on Saturday. If it makes you very nervous not to study, it’s okay to look over your SAT prep notes and review some questions you have already tackled. Don’t overdo it; limit your review time to about thirty minutes so you’ll still be fresh for the real test tomorrow. Set aside a few new problems you can use to warm up tomorrow morning.
Saturday — Test Day!
Wake up early and eat the kind of breakfast you know will work for you. Don’t eat too much or too little — you don’t want to be hungry or uncomfortably full during the test. Drink a little bit of water, but not too much! Only drink coffee this morning if you usually have coffee in the mornings. If you’re not used to having caffeine with breakfast, it might make you jittery or tired during your test.
Spend a few minutes warming up for the SAT by doing a few SAT questions for each subject. You can do this at breakfast or on your way to the test. Remember to take your SAT bag with you–and double-check that you included extra calculator batteries! Leave home early so you’re sure to get to the test on time. When you get there, smile: you know you’re ready for this!