Test Week Tips

It’s the week of your SAT or ACT. You’ve been preparing for weeks or months. Now it’s time for the last-minute cramming you’ve gotten accustomed to from studying for tests in school, right?

Not so fast! The SAT and ACT aren’t quite the same type of test as what you’re used to in school. Since they cover years of material and test broad reasoning skills more than specific concepts, there’s little sense in cramming. Better to get a lot of sleep the week of the test and go in well-rested.

So what can you do to get ready the week of the test? Follow these steps below. While most of these tips will apply to all students, some are specifically meant for students studying with a Premier Edge Prep tutor.

Week of the Test

  • Re-read the Guide to the ACT/SAT.

  • Read through the “Key Strategies to Remember” section on your assignment sheet.

  • Memorize all of the math formulas (or enter them into your calculator).

  • Review specific chapters in the grammar or math practice books (if recommended by your tutor).


Night Before the Test

  • Relax. Hang out at home. Watch a movie or tv. Don’t go out. But don’t study, either. You’ve done everything you need to. You’re ready!

    • If you really want to review, you can do a brief re-read of the Guide to the ACT/SAT, your “Things to Remember” section, and the math formulas.

  • Print out your admission ticket.

  • Pack a small bag with everything you’ll need in the morning. Better to do it tonight than scramble in the morning. You’ll need:

    • #2 pencils. Wood are preferred but mechanical are fine if that’s all you have. Any test center picky enough to require wood should have extras available for you

    • Calculator. Make sure it is fully charged or has new batteries in. Bring replacement batteries (AAA) if you’re not confident.

    • Admission ticket

    • ID

    • Snacks

      • Some recommended snacks: any sort of healthy bar (Power, Clif, Lara, Nature Valley), fruit (bring napkins!) or dried fruit, dark chocolate

    • Water

  • Get a good night’s sleep. Go to sleep at your normal weekday bedtime.

o   Don’t try to go to sleep at an unnaturally early hour. It won’t work.

o   Don’t take any type of sleeping pills.

  • Set an alarm to give yourself plenty of time to wake up and get ready in the morning.


Morning of the Test

  • Follow your typical weekday routine, with just a little more to eat than usual, since you won’t be done testing until after noon (even later if you’re taking the essay or receive extended time).

  • If you normally drink coffee before school, drink coffee. If you don’t normally drink coffee, DON’T drink coffee. Today is not the day to be throwing your body any curveballs.

  • Double-check your bag. Make sure it’s got everything you need.

  • Listen to talk radio or podcasts or nothing at all on the drive to the test center. You don’t want any catchy songs getting stuck in your head during the test.


During the Test

  • Use your break(s). Get up, walk around, stretch, talk to people. Don’t look at your phone. It can only distract you.

  • If you’re not taking the essay, you might have to complete an experimental section at the end of the test. This section does not count. Do not let it stress you out.