What to Do the Week Leading Up to the SAT/ACT
Your test date is soon approaching, and you’ve probably been working hard these past few months. The week of the test is an important one, as you want to make sure you’re on your A-game the morning of. Below are some suggestions for how to prepare in the final week leading up to the big day.
- Don’t Cram
Cramming won’t help you on the SAT and ACT. At this point, you know what you know. Instead of trying to learn new material from scratch, which won’t do you any good, set aside 30 minutes to an hour a day to do some practice questions and review your concepts. On Friday, don’t study test content. Take a look at these 20 SAT strategies. Covered in the 20 strategies are question structure tips, timing advice, calculator hints, and much more to help you improve your score instantly. No matter what you do, do not take a full length practice test on the Friday before the test! You will end up burning yourself out.
- Stay Active & Have Fun!
It’s a good idea to exercise at least 30 minutes a day this week. You might be wondering how exercise will help you on a standardized test. As it turns out, getting enough exercise helps relieve stress, improves memory and concentration, and helps you sleep better. It also helps boost your immune system, so you can go into the test feeling your best. Additionally, remember to relax and have some fun. Constantly thinking about the test 24/7 is not going to help you stay calm or perform any better. So give your mind some time to switch off and think about something else, specially the day before the test!
- Eat Well During The Week
Make sure you get enough fruits and vegetables. Just like staying active, a healthy diet gives your immune system a boost and keeps you energetic and alert. Stay away from highly caffeinated/energy drinks - they might make you feel energized for a few hours but you will definitely crash shortly after.
- Get Enough Sleep
We know that sleep might be a foreign concept to many of you. But if you had to choose one week out of the year to pay attention to your sleep, this might be it. Try going to sleep an hour earlier than you normally would each day this week. Your body and your mind will thank you for it the morning of the test.
- Get Organizated the Night Before
That’s right—you want to do this the day before the test. Not the morning of. The last thing you need the morning of the test is to scramble and panic, realizing that you don’t have something you need. On Friday, gather all of the following and keep them in one place:
- Your admission ticket
- Your photo ID
- 5 sharpened No. 2 pencils (non-mechanical)
- A good eraser
- An approved calculator (with backup batteries)
- Snacks for the break
Also make sure that you know exactly where your test center is and how you’re going to get there.
- Wake Up Early the Morning of
It’s recommended that you wake up early the morning of the test so that you’re not rushing and scrambling. Since you should be going to sleep earlier this shouldn’t be too hard for you. Get yourself together in the morning, and perhaps do some meditation or something relaxing to keep you calm and centered. If you're not a morning person, ask a parent or sibling to make sure you're awake so that you don't accidentally sleep through your alarm!
- Have a Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast is important on test day, because you will be testing for over 3 hours with limited breaks. Eating before hand in the morning is the only time you’ll have to get in a full meal. This will keep your brain and your body going. Try going for a breakfast that’s rich in protein and fruits. Avoid foods with too much refined sugar, as this will lead to a crash in the middle of the test. Learn more about test day breakfast here.