Ten Ways to Help Prep for SAT/ACT Tests
By Gina Curran
Taking a SAT or ACT exam is like running an academic marathon. Here are the top ten things you can do to help your son or daughter prepare for test day:
#10. Gather Up Test Materials
The week of the exam, students should make sure they have everything they need to bring to the test center:
- Acceptable Photo ID (school ID or a valid passport)
- Admission Ticket – Log into the student's SAT or ACT online account and print out the admission a few days before the test. Double check the date and location to make sure your child is definitely registered for the exam. Print out an extra copy so you have one to keep at home too.
- Three sharpened No. 2 pencils and a soft eraser (mechanical pencils are not allowed)
- A watch without an audible alarm - Consider buying a SAT or ACT watch via www.testingtimers.com
- An acceptable graphing or scientific calculator
#9. Exercise & Rest Up
To help them relax the night before the exam, encourage your child to go for a long walk or jog with you. Exercise will help clear their head and get rid of that nervous energy so they can get a better night's sleep. Students should not take practice tests or try to cram material into their head the night before the exam.
#8. Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Students should make time to eat breakfast the morning of the test. They should eat something with protein and healthy carbohydrates and avoid excess sugar.
Ex. Eggs or cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel
#7. Dress for Success
Students should not go to the test wearing the same clothes they wore to bed!! They should make time for a quick shower. Remind them to dress in layers because you never know what the temperature of the room is going to be. #6. Relaxation Techniques
If students feel themselves getting anxious, they can try these exercises to help them relax:
(1) Deep Breathing – Close your eyes, inhale deeply through your nose, hold your breath for 10 seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat as needed.
(2) Chair Pulls – Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and press your back against your chair. Drop your arms to your sides and grab the bottom of your seat with both hands. Press your hands into your seat and pull up with your arms. This will stretch the muscles across your shoulders and neck.
(3) Squeeze Fists – Tightly squeeze and hold your fists and forearms for 5 seconds then relax for 10 seconds. Repeat. Most effective when combined with deep breathing.#5. Pop a Peppermint
Along with that "Good Luck" hug and kiss, hand your child a pack of peppermints as they head off to take their exam. The smell of peppermint stimulates the trigeminal nerve and will make them more alert, will help them focus, and will improve their energy.#4. Hydrate
Encourage your son or daughter to drink one large glass of water the morning of the exam. They should also bring a water bottle with them so they can sip on water throughout the test. Students should avoid caffeinated drinks that will cause their mind to race. Plus they shouldn’t be distracted by a full bladder during the test. #3. Pack a Snack
Students should bring along a high calorie snack that is a combination of both proteins and healthy carbohydrates – Ex. fruit and nut trail mix #2. Know your Test Center & Arrive on Time
Arrive at the test location at least 30 minutes before the start time. BHHS is not a test center so make sure you know exactly where you are going!! #1. Picture Success
Remind students to believe in themselves and to be confident in their abilities. They should visualize what success looks like for them and always keep a positive attitude.
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