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12 Best Tips for SAT/ACT Test Day

Getting ready for the SAT or ACT? Here’s what you should be doing the last minute to ace the test!

The Test Day

The morning: Wake up early, have a good breakfast, wear something comfortable and get to the testing site earlier.

Follow these tips in the test.

  1. Target the questions that are easier first. The math sections on both SAT and ACT begin with easy questions and become difficult progressively. But they have the same value. So, your strategy here should be targeting the low hanging fruit. Then you can move on to medium and hard questions.

  2. If you can’t understand a question or think how to do it, skip it. You can come back to it later and find how to answer.

  3. Underline the important parts of the question to avoid yourself from making mistakes and wasting time on reading the question again and again.

  4. Before you get to the choices, try to think of an answer. That way, you won’t get distracted by the choices and have a clearer path to the answer.

  5. Even if you don’t know the answer, don’t leave anything blank. Go ahead and guess. There is no penalty and your guess might be the right answer!

  6. Punctuation matters! Up to a certain degree, SAT and ACT assesses punctuation rules. Colon, semicolon, dash and period usage is assessed more than your usage of commas. Use them correctly.

  7. Don’t repeat the same point over and over. Stick to clear and straightforward language.

  8. Given the time frame, you might not have the time to read whole passages. If so, tune out the unnecessary details and focus on the main idea of the passage. Skim the text.

  9. When the 5-minute warning is given, start filling in all the bubbles. Then you can continue erasing and correcting your answers. Since there is no penalty for incorrect answers on the ACT and the new SAT, it’s wiser to fill in the bubbles than keep them empty.

  10. If you have extra time, read the answers, see if you have made any mistakes, and make sure the bubbles are in the right place.

  11. It’s not necessary to read the instructions if you already know the drill. It’s a waste of time. Instead, you can become very familiar with them in our classes.

  12. Even if you don’t need to, take the breaks. Eat your snack, drink some water, and use the restroom. Don’t rush yourself. Be as calm as possible. Most important? Breathe.

The Day Before

  • No studying: You should have a relaxed mind the night before the big day. Hang out with a friend or watch some comedy. But if you still want to study, take just two hours. Remember, marathoners don’t run before the race-day.

  • Eat healthy: Hydrate yourself and load up with vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates. Protein helps your neurotransmitter production, complex carbohydrates steady your brain glucose levels, and healthy fats make you function efficiently under stress. Energy matters!

  • Test day bag: Get your ID, admission ticket, sharpened number 2 pencils, an eraser, a watch, a calculator, a bottle of water, and a snack in a bag.

  • Transport: How are you going to get to the testing site? If it’s by your car, have an idea about parking. If you are taking public transportation, make sure the subway/bus/train is running and compare the transportation schedules with your test time. Nothing will throw you off mentally more than running late and already feeling like you’re behind before you ever begin.

  • No screen time: A good night’s sleep is essential for you, physically and mentally. The blue light on your mobile, television, or laptop does the opposite by keeping your brain awake. Get rid of the screens at least an hour before you sleep.

Apart from these SAT and ACT tips, it’s important to visualize yourself facing and acing the test. That will mentally prepare you for the exam.

Best the test! Good luck!

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