I always associated standardized testing with highly stressful environments. The echoes of pencils cracking, calculator buttons clicking, pages tearing, and pens dropping onto tile floors always remind me of tests like the ACT or SAT. However, taking your ACT or SAT should not be a stressful experience. To succeed on your test, it’s important to be in a confident state of mind. To get your best score, here’s a list of things you can do to prepare yourself for the ACT or SAT!

Find tutoring – Your school should inform you of any tutoring opportunities it provides in preparing for the SAT or ACT. Tutoring services can help motivate students by teaching them test taking skills and helping them see what subjects they should study most. 

Review old test booklets –  Reviewing old test booklets will help you get accustomed to the format of the SAT or ACT. Many old test booklets are available online. You can take any of the tests for practice and then see how you did by referring to the answer key. 

Time yourself – Each test subsection takes a certain amount of time. To prepare yourself for the actual test, it’s beneficial to time yourself whenever you’re working on test prep. This will allow you to see how long it takes you to answer a question. 

Focus on subjects that trouble you – If you have routinely scored high on one portion of the test, try to spend more time reviewing portions that may have caused you trouble. This will prepare you to score higher on those sections when you take the actual test.


RELAX! – Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before your test. After all, both the SAT and ACT are several hours long and can be pretty tiring. Eat a healthy breakfast the morning of the test, you don’t want a gurgling tummy to interrupt your thought process while you’re taking the test! Most importantly, try not to be too stressed. You’ve prepared for the test and you should feel confident in your ability to do your best. At the end of the day though, it’s just a test!

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