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5 Things to do the Night Before the SAT or ACT

5 Things to do the Night Before the SAT or ACT

So the big test is weekend. Here are some things you can do to ensure your day goes smoothly.

  1. Get a good night’s rest!

You will be testing for about 4 hours during the SAT and ACT. You will be reading long uninteresting passages with unfamiliar information as well as recalling formulas to solve math problems.  Your brain and your body need to be well rested in order to endure this intellectual marathon.

     2.  Wake up with plenty of time to get ready.

The last thing you want to do on test day is to wake up late and rush out the door realizing you left something at home. Remember to set your alarm and wake up earlier so you will be relaxed and not feel rushed. Also if your testing site happens to be in a place you are not familiar with, you will have time to find the center.

      3.  Have a good breakfast

Even if you are not a breakfast person, it is important for you to eat something on the morning of test day. This will help to give your body the energy and nutrients it needs. Brain-healthy foods such as yogurt, nuts, cereal and bananas are good choices. Do not eat too much as your body will naturally begin to focus energy on digesting your food rather than on thinking. This may also make you sleepy.

      4.  Prepare the items you will need for test day, THE DAY BEFORE

For both tests, there are certain items you must bring and certain items we suggest you bring.

  • Must-haves: entrance ticket, at least two number 2 pencils with erasers, photo ID, calculator you are familiar with.

  • Suggested items – bottle of water, snack, mints

Make sure you bring and use a calculator with fresh new batteries that you are familiar with and have been using to study. Test day is not the day to whip out the new TI85 you just purchased and to figure out how to use it. Also, you WILL get hungry. Your brain needs to be focused on the test and not on what you will be eating later, so mitigate those hunger signals by eating a healthy snack or eating mints during the test.

5.    Review the rules of the test and review testing strategies

Hopefully, you were able to take a prep class to learn strategies for taking each test. Review these strategies to help build your confidence. Here are a few below for each test.


a. Write down your work, you can miss an easy question simply because you try to solve questions in your head.

b. Skip questions you don’t instantly have an idea how to solve, but circle the question # in your booklet so you can come back to it. There is no penalty for incorrect answers on the new SAT, so you must select an answer for every question.

c. For the grid-in question in the Math section, put something down for each one. They are like bonus questions; you do not get penalized for wrong answers here.


a. Do not leave any question blank. Your answer will be marked wrong if you leave it blank so put something.

b. You don’t have to answer the questions in order. You may want to start with the questions at the end of a section first if they seem more doable.

c. Manage your time wisely. Again, it is important that you attempt to get to each question on the test since you will be penalized if you don’t answer them. Do not spend too much time on any question or reading passage. For example, give yourself 9 minutes per passage in the Reading section and about 1 minute per question on the Math section.

These and other tips and strategies are reviewed in classes that Success Prep offers all over Metro Atlanta. Visit our website to make sure you are well prepared for the ACT and SAT before its too late.

Calculators Allowed on the SAT or ACT

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