A Blog post
What to do the week (and day) before the SAT.
- Apr 30, 2019
- Jared Wells
- In Test Preparation
- 0 Comments
With the May SAT coming up, here are some tips for students taking the test this weekend!
Week before the test:
Goal: Review what you’ve learned in your preparation
This is like the week before the marathon. You’ve already done your long runs. This week is about keeping loose, and resting.
What to do. Go back over the practice tests you’ve taken (again, if you already have!), and review the questions you missed. For each question, your job is to clearly identify the source of error, and determine the behavior change that you need to make to avoid that type of error in the first place. If the question was missed as a result of a math concept, a grammar topic, or vocabulary, feel free to review that again (you already reviewed it when you went over the test the first time, right!). Do this a little bit each day this week, so you can relax on Friday afternoon.
If you are prepping with us at Wells Academics, you’ve already done this process in your math/English logs, but this week is the perfect time to review those logs again!
If you have not taken any practice exams (or done any preparation) try to take a timed practice test section every day this week, correct it, and analyze each error to try to find a take-away you can bring into this weekend’s test. Write these takeaways down to help commit them to memory. You can find a practice exam here and solutions here on the college board’s website. Do section 3 (the shortest one) on Friday.
What not to do: Don’t worry about learning new material this week. Your time and mental energy is better spent fortifying the things you’ve already learned. Cramming isn’t going to help you this week. If you are stressed because you don’t feel adequately prepared, remember, there are future tests you can take as well.
Goal: Make sure you have everything you need for the test
What to do: Gather up
-Your admission ticket (log in to your College Board account and print it up)
-Five sharpened #2 pencils
-An approved calculator (and backup batteries)
-A “dumb” digital watch with countdown timer and/or chronometer (whichever you prefer for your pacing). Make sure it has a silent mode and that silent mode is enabled
-A snack and/or drink (for breaks)
Gather everything from this list that you won’t need for the rest of the week, put it a gallon sized ziplock bag. Put a list of the things you have not added to the bag yet (that you need this week, like your calculator) so you can add those things to the bag on Friday without forgetting anything.
Goal: Know where your testing center is located, and how long it will take to get there on Saturday morning.
What to do: If you are unfamiliar with the location your test is going to be held, it might not be a bad idea to go check it out this week, especially if the test is going to be held at a university. Knowing exactly where to park and exactly where to go can take some of the stress out of the morning before the test. You should plan to be at your testing center at 7:15 (30 minutes before the doors open) to account for your (or your ride’s!) running late, getting lost, and other unforeseen circumstances.
Day before the test:
The day before the test is like the day before the marathon. Stretch, relax, eat right, and sleep.
Goal: Minimize studying
What to do: Ideally, you finished your "week of" review by Friday. If you are going to study today, it should be light, and it should have been planned out beforehand (not a last minute cram session). Finishing up the review of your error analyses from your practice exams (which you started earlier this week) is a fine thing to do, but you should not spend more than an hour on this tonight. If you didn't do all the review that you wanted to do this week, don't stress, and let it go. You are going to do more harm than good spending a lot of time and energy studying this afternoon and evening.
Goal: Final inventory of everything you need
What to do: Get your list out of your ziplock bag, and add the items you still need to the bag. Put the bag by the front door (or somewhere you know you won’t miss it tomorrow morning.)
Goal: Have a healthy evening
What to do: Relax, have a healthy, early dinner, and get to bed early. No caffeine in the afternoon and turn off screens by 7pm to make sure you have a restful sleep. Set your alarm(s) for a time that will give you plenty of time to get up and get ready in the morning without being rushed. Get to bed early!
Good luck everybody!
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