12 Last Minute SAT / ACT Tips

Wondering what you can do to boost your performance on the ACT with only a couple of weeks to prepare? Here are some last minute SAT / ACT tips that will help raise your scores and keep you at your best during the test.

Last Minute Studying Tips

The heavy homework load, AP classes, Honors classes, dual enrolment classes, IB magnet programs, all act against the time budget of any student. Of course, at Damian SAT ACT Prep we advise students to start the standardized tests preparation well ahead of the test day. We know it is not possible all the time and due to extracurricular activities and sports outside the school program it may be a hard decision for students to take. Being offered now almost every month, the tests can be pushed ahead and postponed. However, the deadlines are coming and students need to prepare. Some students believe their level of mastering the material is good enough and want to try to take the test just to see where they are. For those students, we at Damian SAT ACT Prep have designed a 10 point WHAT TO DO and WHAT TO AVOID just before taking the test.

Tip 1: Correcting Your Mistakes in the Practice Tests

Both tests have published updated materials and have published every year new tests. Several other companies try to follow suit and publish updated versions of the material they believe will be on the real tests. It’s easy to take a bunch of practice tests and not bother with analyzing the incorrect answers. However, our tutors at Damian SAT ACT Prep advise students to look carefully and see what is the nature of getting an incorrect answer: careless mistake, lack of knowledge, reading too fast, overlooking ellements in the body text of the question. We believe you won’t improve much that way. Now is the time to focus in on topic areas that are particularly problematic for you.

Understand the areas where you have made mistakes. Group by categories the similar mistakes. Focus on understanding the school material covered. Redo the same questions and get the correct answers.

Tip 2: Timing is of essence

Students need to keep track of the time allocated for each section, each question, each passage. Understand and acknowledge the difficulty level of each question and the location within the section. In ACT the time allocated is significantly less than in SAT so for the slow readers insisting in taking ACT may pose significant hurdles.

How to approach the Test Day

Tip 3: Sleep Well, Wake Up Early

Make sure you go to bed early the night before the test. Do not take any medication other than the one you are used to take. Do not take any sleeping pill even if you cannot sleep at all. The pills usually kick in the next morning when you want to be alert not sleepy. At Damian SAT ACT Prep we tell students to have someone else in the household in charge of waking them up. Try to get anywhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Let your brain focus on the business only when you get to the test place.

Tip 4: Eat Breakfast even if you usually don’t

Eat something protein-filled that will give you sustained energy but not make you sluggish. If you normally don’t like eating breakfast, try to eat protein bars and or nuts. Drink coffee if you usually drink it to stay awake – now probably isn’t the time to kick a caffeine addiction. Don’t drink coffee if you’re not used to it because it could actually make you anxious and less focused on the test. Make sure you get sugar in the system. Sucrose is the only element that goes directly to feed your brain in a short amount of time. Drink water. Take a bottle of water with you to the test place.

Tip 5: Dress correctly

This means the opposite of what it usually means because you should dress as comfortably as possible. Bring layers so you don’t get distracted by being too hot or too cold. Also, pack up everything you need for the test the night before so you don’t forget anything (especially if you’re not a morning person!). At Damian SAT ACT Prep we recommend students to have their pencils number 2, admission ticket, ID, calculator, and the car keys inside a Ziploc bag on the countertop in the kitchen. The entire household needs to know about the Ziploc bag and not removing it. In this way you ensure the fact that you don’t leave behind any item needed for the exam. Allow yourself enough time to leave the house and get in time to the testing center. Make sure you have an alternate way of getting to the testing center in case of an accident or road blockage on the main access road. When you get to the testing center, try to get in the room where you are assigned and check the desk with your picture. Make sure it has 4 legs!!!


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