When students and their parents think about preparing for the SAT or ACT, most people think about:
- Enrolling in test prep courses
- Taking practice tests
- Memorizing “SAT” words
However, the thing that many people forget about is what needs to happen the night before the test and the morning of the test. I know that some of you might be thinking these tips are cliché, but they really are important and will help you to do your best on the test.
- Go to bed early.
- Think about it. When you’re tired, it’s harder to concentrate, right? Try to go to sleep as early as is needed for you to wake up in the morning feeling well rested. Be honest with yourself and know what your mind and body needs and get that extra sleep.
- Sleep where you’re most comfortable.
- You’ll probably be doing some last minute studying for the test the night before. It’s natural to want to get one last study session in. However, don’t go overboard and fall asleep where you’re studying. You won’t sleep well with your head down on your desk or the kitchen table. I also caution you sleeping anywhere that is not your own bed. You want to sleep well so that when you wake up in the morning, you’ll feel fully rested and ready for the test.
- Set your alarm.
- This should go without saying, but set your alarm. If you use your phone as your alarm, I’d suggest setting a few different alarms in case you accidentally push the “dismiss” button instead of the “snooze” button. I also suggest that you set another alarm on a real clock, just in case. You don’t want to wake up late and rush getting ready, or even worse, sleep through the start of the test.
- Eat a good breakfast.
- They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that is especially true when you are taking the SAT or ACT. Eating a good meal helps you to feel good and will help your cognitive skills. Eat a healthy breakfast and skip the sugary foods and drinks.
- Plus, you don’t want to be “that” student whose stomach growls very loud during the test when it’s very quiet.
- Bring everything that is required and optional for the test.
The SAT and ACT are important tests for college admissions, but remember that stressing or worrying will not help you to do better. Take care of yourself the night before and the morning of the test and you’ll do great. Good luck!