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Suniti's Advice Corner

Tips for staying calm on SAT/ACT test day

Posted by Sybil St. Hilaire on Fri, Jun 06, 2014

Both SAT and ACT test days are on the horizon. It is normal to be a little nervous or anxious about the test, especially given the role of test scores in college admissions. That said, keep in mind that test scores are only one of the many aspects of college application. The realization will hopefully help you relax a bit. When you are relaxed you can think clearly, plan effectively, and score higher. Here are the things you can do now and on test day to stay calm.

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Practice Early and Often

Most of the anxiety that you feel on test day may come from feeling unprepared, or rather a fear of being under prepared. Want to know the easiest way to combat these feelings? Practice. Thankfully, there are a variety of paid and free practice SAT and ACT resources available to you. Our program includes a practice quiz for each one of our 32+ modules as well as full-length practice tests and 2 hand-graded essays. Consistent practice will certainly help you build the confidence you need on test day.

Get enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is critical to your test day performance, ability to retain information and your ability to recall what you have studied. “Enough sleep” may vary person to person, but for most people eight hours each night is just the right amount.

Arrive Early

Don’t arrive late and give yourself another reason to be flustered on test day. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to arrive, complete the registration process, get comfortable in your seat prior to the test. Arriving early is just one of the ways to ensure your own comfort. Bring snacks to eat during scheduled breaks. I also advise my students to dress in layers in case the room is hotter or colder than they expected.

Visualize Success

As you prepare and think about test day, imagine yourself feeling confident as you take the test and doing well when you get your test scores back.  As you walk into the test it is important to think positive. Also, keep negative thoughts at bay. Negative thoughts can be a distraction and heighten your stress levels.

How do you stay calm under pressure? Share your tips by leaving a comment below!

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

TestRocker is an award-winning PSAT/SAT/ACT program that empowers students to take control of their test preparation. After taking a diagnostic test, students receive a customized study plan, individualized to their strengths/weaknesses. Students practice and learn concepts through videos. Each of the 2000+ questions on TestRocker is accompanied by a video explanation from Suniti. TestRocker has the largest video library in the world for PSAT/SAT/ACT preparation. 

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