First of all, the best feeling in the whole entire world is riding a horse. Especially riding a horse on a hot day outside and getting dirty and then giving the horse a bath. Can’t top it:D So I highly recommend you do it at least once in your life.
Moving along, this past Saturday, I took the SAT for the second time. I think I did significantly better than the first time I took it which was last spring. Two factors that I think will bump my score…okay three. 1) It is my second time taking it and that usually means your score goes up. 2) I have taken two semesters of college English and college math so I am a bit smarter than I was last spring:) 3) I used a study program to get me ready. It is called College Prep Genius and it truly works wonders!! The lady that made it has done a lot of research about the SAT and the new SAT and knows the little tricks that the test writers use. It also works for studying for the ACT. She doesn’t teach the subject material. She teaches ways to answer each question quickly without being a master of the subject. For instance, every math problem can be answered without a calculator, quickly, even if math isn’t your strong suit. I should have started studying earlier, but it definitely helped me.
So these three factors take me to my first three tips:
- Take the test more than once unless, by some outstanding feat, you get a perfect score your first time.
- Make sure that you are actually ready to take the test school wise.
- Find a study program or method that works for you and stick to it. I recommend College Prep Genius, but there are many wonderful programs on the market like Kaplan Test Prep.
And here is the rest of my test day advice:
- The night before, go to bed at a normal time-not too late and not too early.
- Don’t study right before you go to bed. Just relax and let whatever studying you did sink into your brain. Don’t tired yourself out the night before because you will need your energy for the test.
- Set out your clothes, calculator, pencils, snacks, etc. before you go to bed so you don’t have to worry about it the next day. Better yet, put it all in the car!
- Don’t wake up too early. Wake up at a time that will give you just enough time to get dressed, eat breakfast, gather your things and go. This is a personal strategy of mine. I find that if I wake up too early then I have extra time that I spend just worrying. If I can wake up just on time, then I can focus on getting ready and not on the upcoming test.
- Eat a good breakfast, but not a large breakfast. I ate eggs and toast because that is what fills me up. But I didn’t stuff myself. I know that if I eat too much food, I will get really sick, and I did not want that distraction.
- Take good snacks and water. At every break make sure you get out of the testing room to eat a bite and take drink and stretch your legs. If you have time, go to the bathroom-even if it is just to wash your hands. Any bit of break from sitting and reading you can get will help you in the long run.
- Wear comfy clothes. You don’t want to be sitting there constantly adjusting your clothes during the test. Wear sweatpants, a t-shirt, and a sloppy ponytail if you want to. This test is about you and your future, not how well dressed you are 🙂
- Above all, don’t psych yourself out. Yes, this is a very important test, but it is just that–a test. If you have prepared well, and done what you can, then you will do fine. And if you don’t get the score you want this time through, you can take it again.
- Finally, when you are registering, don’t put down colleges to send your score to unless you are confident that you will do well. When I took my ACT in December, I put down three colleges to automatically send my scores to, and I wish that I hadn’t done that. You can always send your scores after the scores come out. That way, if you don’t want a college to see a score, they won’t.
I am taking the ACT this Saturday, and hopefully I get a good enough score that I won’t have to take it again. I have one more piece of advice: DO NOT SCHEDULE EITHER TEST DURING FINALS WEEK and if you can NOT DURING SCHOOL AT ALL. I made that mistake with my ACT. It was at the end of my finals week, and I was so busy studying for them that I didn’t have time to study for the ACT. Never again will I make that mistake:)