The November 2010 SAT is coming up next week! So what’s the best way to spend your last few days leading up to the test?
To start, check out our free test week workshops. Then, follow these five tips for exam day readiness:
1. Buddy up
Get together one night during test week (not Friday night!) with a few friends who are also taking the exam and share study tips and strategies. If you can stay focused (perhaps have a parent in the next room) this is a great way to make last minute prep more fun and less stressful. You may even learn a super-helpful new strategy from one of your friends.
2. Take one last test run
Take a practice test early in the week (definitely not Friday night!) under test conditions similar to that of the actual exam (i.e. time yourself and take the test in a quiet room without distractions). Go through each of your wrong answer choices and review the appropriate content that is related to the questions you are getting wrong. Don’t worry about your score on this test — due to stress and other mitigating factors there is a chance it will not be indicative of how you will do this weekend – just use the experience as a study tool.
3. Ask for help!
Everyone can use a little guidance sometimes. Have a specific question in mind that needs answering. Going up to your high school math teacher and saying “I need help with SAT math, what can you tell me?” is not going to go over well (especially the week before the test). However, a question like, “Do you have any advice for approaching questions about x-y planes” might just get you a helpful response. You can even consulting a parent or an older sibling with questions like “How do you best prepare for a stressful situation?” or “Can you review some vocabulary with me?” Take advantage of all the people around you who are ready and willing to help!
4. Head outside
Get some fresh air and exercise. You want to de-stress your mind and body. Anxiety can be your biggest enemy on test day. Oxygen helps brain function — aerobic exercise is the most effective study break possible. Studies show that 30-40 minutes of exercise can boost performance on mental tasks.
5. Don’t cram
The night before the test, just take care of the practical stuff. Put your exam ticket and other relevant documents someplace safe where you won’t forget them. Plan your travel to the exam center wisely in order to reach the test center well in time. Be sure to get adequate sleep. Prepare breakfast, or at least plan what you will eat (something with a balance of proteins and carbohydrates is best). If you think it will save you time and early morning stress, lay out your clothing the night before. Be sure to dress in layers!