You’ve consistently been preparing for your SATs and are pretty confident about taking the test. You’ve watched the test date get closer and closer, 2 months, 1 month and now, 1 week to go. Firstly, congratulations on getting this far, and we wish you the highest of scores. But, do you know what to do differently in these last seven days to be the best and brightest version of yourself on D-day? Sure, you might have followed a plan for the entire duration of your prep, and it must have worked wonderfully. But the dynamics right before the test are a little bit different and following the same rigorous schedule might burn you out. The worse news is that the effect will show up in your final score.
So how do you take your prep down a notch, yet still aim to do a complete revision and get those extra few questions right? Worry not, we’re here with a list of 10 last minute SAT tips.
- Error log
- Practice test
- Test Strategy
- Read the instructions
- Sleep schedule
- Pack your bag
- Visit the test centre
You might have spent months preparing for your SAT, which makes revision all the more crucial. The topics you studied at the beginning of your prep are probably buried somewhere in your subconscious, so make it a point to revisit them. Go over your grammar rules, core math concepts and quant formulae repeatedly. With one week to go, this is the time to focus on quality over quantity. By all means, do practice questions, but try to reduce the complexity of your questions with each passing day.
Did you ever realize that once you find and fix a mistake, you are less likely to make it again? This is the concept behind an error log. After every practice test, it’s important to record your mistakes. One week before the test, go through these questions and ask yourself, where did you go wrong, and how do you make sure not to repeat the same mistake? This will help you bag some extra points in your test.
As part of your final phase of preparation, do one or two full-length practice tests at the same time of day as your real SAT. Also, try to mark your answers on an OMR sheet, you can print these out from the official college board website. This will allow your mind and body to adjust to the SAT environment and help you avoid any last-minute surprises. Practice tests will also help you develop a strategy for test day, which brings us to our next point.
While taking your practice tests, keep an eye on section-wise time limits and try to finish well beforehand. Meaning, don’t use the break time to solve questions from the previous section or cross the specified sectional time. Develop a pacing strategy, so if you feel like you are stuck on a question, leave it and move on.
When you first get the question booklet, spend significant time reading the instructions. Doing this the previous night won’t hurt either, you never know if they’ve made slight changes in the question paper or the marking scheme. Get familiar beforehand, so you don’t waste time later on.
How many times did you try sleeping early before a big day, only to end up tossing and turning till 2 am? Aiming to sleep early the night before is often an arduous task, the anticipation and stress will usually keep you up. Then you end up going to the test groggy and might land up with a lower score. Try to sleep early for the entire week as this schedule will help you fall asleep easily before D-day. Also, you could try to exercise or break a sweat, so you sleep more soundly.
Eat healthily! Although this is general life advice, it’s crucial to eat well the week before the test. Try healthy snacks like almonds and walnuts, also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. More importantly, make sure that you have a nutritious breakfast the morning right before the test.
Check if your calculator is working and your pencils are sharp. Pack multiple copies of your admission ticket, some pencils, a few erasers, a calculator, a bottle of water, and a light snack. We advise that you put this bag in your car, or somewhere close to the door the night before so you won’t forget it.
Drive by the test centre so you know little details like where it is, how long it takes to get there and the traffic situation. You don’t want to be late on D-Day, right?
You’ve done all you can, now is not the time to stress. Take the test with a calm and relaxed mind, freaking out will only work against your favour. And, if you need some extra help with your final prep, contact us for our tried and tested SAT study guide.
Got a month before your SAT? Check out What to do in Your Last Month of SAT Prep?