Conquering the SAT


Ever since I was little, everyone told me that the SAT, ACT, and other standardized tests were the key to getting into college. I always thought, “How could one little test decide my future?” With the upcoming PSAT, SAT, and ACT, you may have multiple questions clouding your thoughts, such as how long is the test, when should I start to study, why should I take this test, and who even cares? Well, Knights, as a senior I have conquered the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AZ Merit and I’m here to help you. Here are the 7 tips to surviving standardized tests:

  1. Study, study, study!

The key to doing well on all standardized test is to prepare for them. I found the best way to study, for me, was through annotating in the SAT, ACT, PSAT Barron’s book. Also, creating a study plan can be very beneficial in the long run. I utilized the study plan that was available in the front of my SAT book and created a plan very similar to study all other standardized tests. This tip is more aimed for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT, for they are scores that go into your college application, which colleges look at the determine if they want you to attend their college.

2.  Ask for help.

As your teachers have probably taught you, asking for help is the only way to get help. Standardized tests have college-level vocab and college level standards. These tests are meant to see if you are ready for college, so it’s okay if you don’t know everything.

3. Eat a good breakfast.

I know it seems like everyone tells you to eat a good breakfast, but this small action really does have a huge impact on your body. If you go into a test hungry, I can almost guarantee you that your stomach will tell you it needs food. Now, if you’re like me, your stomach will do this when it is dead silent in a room. Embarrasing, right?

4. Do not cram the night before a test.

Cramming the night before a test is never a good idea. From my experience, I have noticed a trend with students who cram before a test. More often than not, students do all they can to learn the information as fast as they can, but usually end up staying up all night long. Besides the lack of sleep, the students who cram lack the experience and repetition of the material to do well on a test. Mixed with the lack of sleep, they tend to not do well at all.

5. Learn the tips and tricks.

Most standardized tests are full of small tips and tricks to get through the timed material faster. This is especially true with the SAT. Throughout the books, especially the SAT prep book, small tips are highlighted in an attempt to help the students taking these exams. I found them extremely helpful and with practice, I was able to utilize them while taking the test itself.

6. Utilize all resources available.

Along with tip #5, utilizing the practice books and practice tests can very much help you ace your test. The books are made with students in mind and are great tools to use while studying. The downside is the cost of these books; however, many seniors may be willing to sell theirs to you at a lower cost than a store would sell.

7. Don’t stress.

The worst thing you could do is stress about the test. If you have been studying, you are prepared. Remember that, Knights. You know more than you think you do, and you know it! We are all rooting for you, so go out there and ace that test!