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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

SAT & ACT: What to Eat for Breakfast (and what not to eat)

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Fri, Mar 31, 2017

breakfast the morning of the sats

We’ve all heard a million times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But who has time to make and enjoy a healthy breakfast when there’s so much else to do?

Unfortunately, with our busy schedules, many of us find ourselves skipping breakfast. If you’re taking the SAT or ACT any time soon, skipping breakfast is a habit you’re going to want to break. If you’re not a regular breakfast eater, ideally you should introduce it back into your routine a week or two before the test so that you don’t have an upset stomach the day of.

Taking your test soon? Get 20 last minute strategies to instantly increase your score.


What You Should Eat

So what should you have for breakfast the morning of the test? You should definitely have something you enjoy. This will help you de-stress and put you in a good mood. That said, you want to make sure you’re giving your body and the brain the proper nutrients to keep you on your A-game. 

  1. Protein, protein, protein! This can include eggs, dairy products, or nuts.
  2. Whole grains. Instead of having white bread, try going for whole wheat bread. Oatmeal or granola with fruits or yogurt is also a great option. 
  3. Other ideas for a healthy breakfast include eggs Florentine, breakfast burritos in a whole-wheat tortilla, an omelet with vegetables, and steel-cut oatmeal with bananas and peanut butter. 
  4. In the mood for something lighter? Maybe have a protein or granola bar or a smoothie with milk, fruit, and protein powder.
  5. Also make sure you have at least a glass of water before the test and bring water with you to the test center.

What Not To Eat

  • As tasty as they might be, you want to avoid sugary foods and coffee. While they may give you an initial energy boost, you might experience a sudden energy crash during the test.
  • It’s also not a good idea to eat anything you’re not used to. It’s not a great idea to test your stomach right before going into a 4 to 5 hour test. 

As for after the test? Go ahead and spoil yourself! You’ve worked hard and you deserve it. Hopefully you can keep up this healthy breakfast routine even after the test. 



Can I Eat During The Test?

The day of the test, you’ll likely be at the test center for anywhere between 4 and 5 hours. You’re not allowed to have food with you during the test and you’re only given a couple of 5-minute breaks to step into the hall and munch on something. If you have a healthy breakfast before heading to the test center, not only will you be able to sustain yourself during the test, but you’ll also perform better. Plus, there’s nothing more distracting than a grumbly tummy.

What Kinds of Snacks Should I Take To My SAT or ACT Test?

Snacks are a good way to re-charge during breaks. Take small bite items like granola bars, apples, pretzels, nuts and dry fruit etc. Stay away from anything too messy (dirty hands), spicy (upset stomach) or too sweet (sugar high). 

Not sure if you should take the SAT or the ACT?

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Tags: For Students, For Parents, For Counselors, sat, New SAT, International Students, sat prep, breakfast, sat breakfast

About Suniti

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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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