So it’s one week to the SAT and you probably thinking that that is more than enough time. In fact, you might even wish it were Friday so that you can get the test over and done with. But time has a tendency of slipping by really quickly and us tutors at Grockit would hate to see you panicking the night before about vocabulary lists, math formulas and grammar rules. Especially when a lot of you have been putting in so many hours grockiting to achieve that purple belt! So here are few tips to get through the week and make sure that you’re in top form for the SAT.
7 days before the SAT
Familiarize yourself with the test directions
Read the directions to the test several times. Know how to shade in your name, information etc. Make sure you know where and how to shade the bubbles, especially for the free response questions in the math section. This way, you won’t have to waste precious time reading the directions during the test.
Take two full length SAT tests (yes, that includes the Essay too!)
Do your best to simulate the test conditions. Make sure you have everything in front of you – timer, pencils, eraser, calculator, water – and just power your way through the test. This is good practice in keeping to the time limit and familiarizing your body with the stress of taking a 4 hour long test. When you’re done, have someone grade it and give your mind a good break. Often times, your brain will feel fried having done section after section of SAT questions, so review your mistakes only when you feel recharged.
Test your skills with this SAT question!
Take it slightly easy
If you’re not doing a practice test that day, try to spend an hour or two practicing some reading, writing and math problems. Don’t overdo it. You might want to try getting into a Grockit game with some new people to explain things to them – teaching helps to reinforce concepts and earns you Grockit points! If you ever start to panic that you’re not doing enough, make a list of what you think you should do and then do it systematically. Lists help a lot when you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things you feel you need to be doing.
Get into a routine
Try and get into some sort of routine at least 4 days before the SAT. This is a suggestion: review some math formulas before you sleep, get the right amount of sleep, wake up around the same time and review some vocabulary at breakfast. This way, when you have to wake up early on Saturday and review some notes, your body will be used to it and it won’t take you as long to concentrate.
If you haven’t been prepping for your essay, now’s the time to do it. Your teachers will have gone through 5 paragraph essays in class. That’s the format you should stick to. What you need to do now is to research a few stock examples that you can adapt to any question. Try to have at least one person or event from history and from literature you’ve read. Flexible examples include Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
The day before the SAT (Friday)
Review and Relax
You should be prepared by now. You shouldn’t be trying to work your way through more questions today. Rather, review your math notes, grammar rules and the examples you’ve prepped for you essay. Try and avoid going to practice and tiring yourself out too much today. I’m sure your coach and teachers will understand if you need to take it easy. Don’t spend more than one hour reviewing your notes; at this point, you just want to feel confident and relaxed.
SAT day (Saturday)
Wake up an hour or two before you need to leave and eat a good and balanced breakfast. Make sure not to overeat or have anything too greasy – more blood will be redirected to your stomach to digest everything, leaving less blood to keep your brain sharp and alert. While you’re eating, do a quick review of your math and grammar rules and then spend some time reading a difficult article (e.g. an editorial or report in the New York Times). Often, the first complex thing people read on SAT day are the reading comprehension passages. Reading a report at breakfast will help wake your brain up before hand. When you’ve finished, you’re all set to go! Good luck!
Use Grockit’s School Match to see how your predicted SAT score stacks up against the average score of students at different colleges.