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Suniti's Advice Corner

What to Do If You Blank Out During the SAT/ACT

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Wed, Apr 05, 2017

what to do if you draw a blank during the sat or act

Taking the SAT or ACT is stressful enough as it is. But then to blank out during the test and to feel like the answers are just not coming to you might send your head spinning even more. If you find yourself blanking out during the test, there are a few things you can do to get yourself back on track.

  1. Breathe.

Don’t underestimate the power of breathing. Sometimes blanking out is the result of stress. Then when you can’t think of the answer you might stress out more, which leads to a vicious cycle. Stepping back and taking some deep breaths can break the cycle. Close your eyes and take 5-10 deep breaths in and out through your nose. You might be surprised at how you feel afterwards.

 

  1. Just get your pencil moving.

Write something. Anything. When you start working out a problem or underlining a part of a reading passage, you might jog your memory and the answer might come to you. You know more than you think you do. So just get that pencil moving and see what comes of it.
  1. Skip the question and come back to it.

The clock is ticking, and you don’t want to waste precious time on a question that’s stumping you. If you find that you’re spending more than a minute or two on a question, move on to the questions that you do know and come back to this one later. Taking a break and working on other questions might help jog your memory and will also help you pace yourself.

Get more helpful tips to improve your SAT score by viewing the 20 Best SAT Test Taking Strategies.

  1. Take your best guess.

There is no penalty for wrong answers on the tests, so if all else fails, just take your best guess. You might even guess correctly. By filling in one of the bubbles, you have a 25% chance of choosing the right answer, which is better than a 0% chance from not filling in anything. To maximize your chances of guessing correctly, try to use logic, evidence, plug-ins, and visuals to help you out. 

Blanking out during a test can be scary, but the strategies above should be able to help you center yourself and get you back on the right track.

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Tags: For Students, For Counselors, sat, International Students, tips, sat prep

About Suniti

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Suniti is the creator of TestRocker, an online learning platform that helps you unlock your dream SAT and ACT scores. TestRocker is based on Suniti’s highly successful and proven method of teaching students how to maximize their SAT and ACT scores, a method she has perfected through tutoring thousands of students globally for more than a decade. 

TestRocker is a one of a kind online SAT/ACT program that empowers students to take control of their test preparation. After taking our diagnostic test a customized study plan, individualized to students' strengths/weaknesses, allows them to track progress as they work through the program. Each of the 1,200 SAT & 2000 ACT questions on TestRocker are accompanied by video explanations from Suniti. Parents are able to track their child’s progress through biweekly reports.

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