How to Survive the ACT and SAT

How to Survive the ACT and SAT

By Ally Kampel


Standardized tests may seem like the end of the world, but there are preparations you can take to help reduce stress and anxiety and improve your ACT and SAT experiences. Junior, Isabella Jansen, says, “The whole idea of standardized tests stresses me out because I know it is a big factor of me going to college.  I do not like the idea that I am being looked at based on a number.”  Even though the ACT and SAT are a big deal, there are simple things you can do to offset your anxieties.

The first helpful tip is to be prepared.  Look over practice ACT or SAT tests, practice books, or maybe even take the practice tests. Familiarizing yourself with material that is similar to the test will help build confidence and help you feel more relaxed.  There are also many ACT or SAT classes you can attend to help raise your score. For example, ACT Boot Camp, Torch Prep, or Academic Insights are classes that are guaranteed to raise an individual’s test score through intensive studying and analyzing of each individual test.  You can always see your counselor for more information about the test and test prep classes.

It is essential to get enough sleep the night before the test. You should get at least eight hours of sleep and wake up the next morning fully rested and ready to take the test.  Eating a healthy breakfast full of protein, such as eggs or toast with peanut butter will give you energy throughout the long test.

Before you leave for the test, make sure you have you online ticket, your driver’s license or ID, pencils, erasers, and a calculator for the math section set out and ready to go.

The most important tip to surviving standardized test is to stay relaxed.  Guidance counselor, Mrs. Whitten, says that stress also affects the performance of the test, “When students become stressed during the test, they begin to overthink questions and that is a main reason students get answers incorrect.” Do not stress out over the tests.  There are many opportunities to retake the tests and improve scores.

Good luck and happy testing!


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