photo of a boy in an exam

Picture your ideal Saturday morning. No school, two full weekend days ahead of you. What would you like do

Surely, your first thought was, “I would love to sit for a 3-and-a-half-hour test that determines my college readiness and subsequent future successes.”

That said, if you are one of the few to whom this does not sound appealing, here are some quick tips to help you make the most out of your inevitable Saturday morning standardized testing:

  1. Get a good night’s sleep in the days leading up to the SAT or ACT. Likely, you will have jitters about the exam. This is normal, and the way to combat the stress of not being able to fall asleep the night before is to bank hours of sleep in the week preceding the test.
  2. Put everything together the night before. Sounds like something your mom would say, doesn’t it? Listen to your mom. Ensure you have all the sharpened, #2 pencils you may need. Have your graphing calculator ready, with fresh batteries loaded up. Pack four additional, brand-new batteries for peace of mind.
  3. Print your testing ticket the night before. Lay it out next to your your pencils, calculator, and extra batteries. Make sure you have your ID ready to go as well.
  4. Eat a normal breakfast. If you typically have Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, your body expects it. Do not change your routine. The last thing you want is to have a yogurt the morning of the SAT or ACT and learn, for the first time in 17 years, that you are, in fact, lactose-intolerant.

All of these tips may seem obvious, or silly, or repetitive of what your mother has already told you, but listen: the best approach to surviving and excelling during a 3+ hour test is to be as well-rested and prepared as possible.

As for making it through the test itself, trust your preparation, trust your knowledge, and know that no matter what, you have done everything you can to put your best foot forward.