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What To Do On The Eve Of ACT and SAT

As a student looking to pursue education beyond high school, ACT and SAT scores hold a lot of weight. While there is no dearth in forums and blogs on college assessment tests, here is still another comprehensive prioritized guide on what to do a day prior to the exam.

Visualize Your Approach

To successfully answer the most questions without errors and avoid negative marking in the SAT papers, visualize how you are going to tackle the test. Instead of answering questions as per the sequence of the paper, it would be better to chalk out your area of expertise and answer them first before progressing on to the next area. Leave the doubtful questions to the last so as to take your time on making educated guesses. For ACT, follow the same routine and make sure that you plan to answer all questions as there is no negative marking.

Practice Breathing And Relaxation Techniques

Panic can set in easily during the test if you fail to answer a few questions consecutively. The best way to protect against panic is to practice your breathing pattern a day before while taking one final mock test. Ensure that you maintain a steady breathing routine throughout the test even when faced with tough questions. You never know, a calm mind might get you one or two educated guesses correct.

Get Ready For The Environment

The test center might be packed with students well beyond its cooling capacity.  To ensure that you do not get distracted by the temperature within the examination hall, wear layers of clothing that you can remove to adjust to the surrounding temperatures. Furthermore, pack your bag on the eve of the test with everything you require in the hall. This includes the calculator, IDs, admission ticket, a few spare pencils and even an energy bar.

Get Some Sound Sleep

Contrary to popular belief, cramming on the last day of preparation can hamper your chances of success. The brain’s physiology requires time to process data and process useful information. Periods of rest ensure that what goes into the brain stays there for longer. Hence, the day before the test, the brain needs to process everything it has learnt over the past few months so as to clearly visualize answers during the test.

Some General Test Taking Guidelines

Keep these guidelines in mind when you take the test, the next day.

  • Arrive well before time at the test center as the last concern in your mind on the day of the test should be arriving on time.
  • Take your time and read the question not once but twice to ensure that you have got it correct. Some questions are there to fool you.
  • If you are spending more than a couple of minutes on a question, postpone it for later and move on to the next one.
  • Do not search for the Unscored section of your test paper, just concentrate on your strong areas.
  • Guess intelligently. If you can even eliminate a single choice then your chances at guessing increases.
  • Ensure that you shade the right question’s answer in the answer booklet.
  • Remember that in the ACT test you should answer all questions as there is no negative marking.

Many students follow these guidelines and yet manage to perform poorly in SAT or ACT. Although there is no particular fail proof method or preparation module to practice, these guidelines should offer a safety net protecting you from falling too far down. If you have any suggestions or extra guidelines that you think will help fellow test takers, then please feel obliged to leave a comment.

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