Use These 5 Key SAT/ACT Tips on Test Day

SAT tips

Use These 5 Key SAT/ACT Tips on Test Day

Published on January 9, 2024

SAT tips

The benefits of preparing academically for the SAT and ACT are obvious, but many students and families underestimate the importance of preparing emotionally and physically as well. Here are some tips for the day of the test:

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

It can be hard to fall asleep the night before the test. Since nervous energy impacts sleep quality, let your teens know they could benefit from exercise the day before, preferably outside in the sunlight. Whether swimming or taking a long walk, it all contributes to quality sleep. 

Bring Snacks

Students should bring healthy snacks (i.e. no sugar). They should eat something just before entering the test room, and then another during the break. 

Take Bathroom Breaks

Students often forget about making a bathroom run until it’s too late to leave the room. Remember to go before entering the test room and then again during the break. 

Curb Anxiety

Before any milestone event like the SAT or ACT, it’s common to have a rush of adrenaline. Instead of viewing this as “stress” or “anxiety,” students should reframe it as the body’s way of helping them perform at their best when they need to the most.

Also, they should try not to pay attention to those who say the test isn’t well-written or isn’t important. It is a good assessment of reading, math, language, and critical thinking. And to the extent that your test score is lower in one area than another, it will provide excellent feedback you can use to improve your college readiness. 

Good luck!

Don’t Forget to Bring

  • Admission ticket
  • Photo ID
  • Your calculator
  • Water and a healthy snack
  • Sweatshirt
  • Sharpened #2 pencils (ACT only)
  • Wristwatch that doesn’t make noise (ACT only)
  • Pens for scratch work (SAT only)
  • Laptop with Bluebook installed, fully charged with charger (SAT only)

Always check test center requirements.


Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like:

Achieving a Good Score on the SAT: How the Test Works and Tips for Success

How I Fought to Remove Compulsory Test Scores on Transcripts

What Is a Good PSAT Score: Essential Guide to Scoring, Scholarship, and Prep




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