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Test-Taking Tips and Strategies

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With the school year back in swing, or starting soon, you’re probably starting to think about your classes, your schoolwork, extra commitments, etc. You might even be thinking about what tests you’ll have to prepare for and take this year – especially if you’re planning on taking the SAT or ACT. Doing well in school and studying beforehand are two of the best ways to prepare for a test. However, there are some tips you can keep in mind that may help you do well while actually taking a test.

  • Arrive early. Show up to class, or to the test site, with as much time beforehand as you can manage. Showing up early will help you take a moment to prepare, find a good seat, get your supplies in order, and will give you a moment to mentally prepare for the test. The last thing you want to do is rush into the classroom as the test is starting.
  • Stay comfortable, relaxed and confident. Find a comfortable position at your desk, but don’t slouch – you also want to stay alert. Even if you are worried, try to remind yourself that you have prepared for this test and have done well with the test material in your classes. Try to stay confident and do your best. Limit conversations with other students right before the test – their anxiety could rub off on you.
  • Read the directions and use your time wisely. Taking a test can be a little nerve-wracking, but try to avoid panic by forcing yourself to really read and comprehend all the directions and questions as best you can. Also, make sure you are using your time wisely. Some questions may take only a few seconds to answer. You may find yourself really struggling with others. If a question truly has you stumped, don’t waste too much time on it. Move on to another and try and come back to it later.
    • Review. If you finish your test early, take some time to look back over your answers. It isn’t a race, after all. You may find that after completing the entire test, you are reminded of something you may have forgotten and could help on an earlier question or topic. Or you may find that you made a careless mistake somewhere. You are given a certain amount of time in which to complete a test, so if you end up with extra, try and use it to your advantage.

Test Prep Academy is the premier SAT/ACT services company for high school students. e offer instructional programs and curriculum for students preparing for the PSAT, ACT, and SAT. Learn more about how we help prepare students for the SAT

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