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Tips for Acing the SATs and ACTs

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acing-the-sats-and-actsHere are some helpful tips to keep in mind on the morning of a big test day. 

Your child has been studying like a mad person. Maybe you got them a study guide at the library or bookstore. Maybe they are taking an online course or working the brick and mortar tutor into their already busy schedule. With a slew of test dates slated for the coming months, what should little thinkers do the morning of SAT/ACT test day to prepare?

In order to be well prepared to take the SATs or ACTs, it’s important to not only study, but to also know what to do the morning of SAT/ACT test day. What you don’t want them to do is cram. All the studying that has seeped in and retained has already happened. Extra studying is not going to do anything but make your child more anxious. That said, if yours is the kind of student who benefits from going over what they know, then maybe a casual glance over flashcards and note cards might have a calming effect.

Below, we have included a list of how to prepare the morning of test day. Some of what we’ve included might seem obvious, but it’s amazing how common sense seems to escape us in high pressure situations. Plus, this list is the only time that morning someone else is going to be able to do the thinking for your child, which might be very much appreciated.

Top 5 Things to Do the Morning of the SATs/ACTs

1. Set an alarm

Even if you or your child wakes up at the same time every day religiously, it does not matter. Set an alarm (or even two), giving your child plenty of time to get ready without rushing. He or she should shower to wake up and get energy jump-started, have breakfast, and get to the testing station early. Rushing or worrying about being late causes undue stress.

2. Get testing tools together the night before

Your child should have all the necessary items packed to go the night before, so he or she does not spend the morning scrambling to find just the right pencil or stress out that the admission ticket has vanished. Check the testing company’s website or documentation for what to bring, but typically the list includes pencils, erasers, calculator with limited functions (check test site for acceptable ones), admission ticket and a suitable form of picture identification. Your child can also bring a small snack and water for the break period between tests.

3. Eat breakfast

Suggest to your child that he or she at least have a little something. Food will give them beneficial energy and help them stay alert. They should not, however, take their food to go. Since food needs at least an hour to digest, they don’t want to hear all sorts of funky and noisy digestive sounds while they are taking the test.

4. Arrive at the testing center early

Tests are not always given at students’ schools, so the building might be unfamiliar. It’s important to get there early (even do a test run during the week before if possible) and locate the correct classroom. No sense in stressing over finding it or running around to look for it and starting the test flustered.

5. Take advantage of break time

Suggest they leave the test classroom and walk around, stretch, and snack. They need to step away from the stressful environment and recharge.

Perhaps most important, relax, be Zen, be calm. Let your brain focus on what they know.

For more parenting advice, check out poshmom.com

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