The benefits of preparing academically for the SAT are obvious, but many families underestimate the importance of preparing emotionally and physically as well. Here are some SAT tips to help your student make it through their test-day experience with good results:
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 teen know they could benefit from doing some exercise the day before. Whether swimming or taking a long walk—or whatever they like to do—it all counts and works well to help them fall asleep and stay asleep.
Encourage your student to bring easy-to-eat snacks. They should have one right 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. Let yours know they should go before entering the test room and then again during the break. It’s as simple as 1-2-3: Snack, Bathroom, Test.
Keep Track of Time
Since proctors often make timekeeping mistakes, your student should bring a wristwatch as a backup. Just be sure it doesn’t make noise, or they may be kicked out. The best idea is to bring an analog watch and set it to 12 o’clock at the beginning of each section. If the proctor does make a mistake, your student should speak up!
Curb Your Anxiety
Before any milestone event like the SAT, it’s pretty common to have a rush of adrenaline. If this happens to your student, tell them that instead of viewing that rush as a negative, they should reframe it as their body’s way of helping them perform at their best when they need to the most.
Avoid Mood Busters
Everyone handles test day differently. My best suggestion is for your student not to talk to other students before the test or during the break because they’ll invariably complain about some annoying thing they hadn’t noticed (this may end up tormenting them as much as the “Baby Shark” song).
Also, they should try not to pay attention to those who say the test isn’t well-written or isn’t important. The test is a good assessment of reading, math, language, and critical thinking. And to the extent that your student’s score is lower in one area than another, it will provide excellent feedback they can use to improve their college readiness.
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