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7 Night Before The ACT Tips That Work

Don’t let the last few hours before taking the ACT stress you out. Instead, keep in mind our night before the ACT tips, and get your mind and body ready for success.


If you’re not sure what to eat the night before the test, we’ve got you covered with the best foods to eat before taking a test.



Don’t Cram At The Last Minute!


Don’t try to shove new information into your brain.


The fact is you won’t be able to retain it adequately on test day itself. However, it’s fine to review. Things to review include:


  • Math formulas
  • Reading strategies
  • Basic grammar rules


If you need to brush up on using some formulas and section formats from previous test prep, then go ahead. However, if you try shoving entirely new information into your brain, your nerves and memory retention will defeat you.


Focus on what you’ve practiced so you feel comfortable. That’s the best you can do at this point. This is honestly one of the most important night before the ACT tips we can offer you.


Pack Your Bag For The Morning


Don’t rush to gather everything before heading out.


Your nerves are going to be high, and forgetting something can easily happen. Your bag needs to include the following items:


  • Your Admission ticket
  • Two No.2 pencils
  • Eraser
  • ACT-approved ID
  • ACT-approved calculator


Other items you can bring, but aren’t required, include:


  • A watch
  • Extra calculator batteries
  • A drink or water
  • Snacks (for breaks only)


Make sure to not bring any devices with alarms or anything explicitly prohibited by ACT.


Check Online For Your Test Center’s Info


Make sure you know where you’re taking the test.


Don’t use the morning of the ACT to map out where you’re going. Take a few minutes the night before to get the address, plot out your route, and see how long it’ll take to get there.


Remember, the test administered early in the morning, so give yourself enough time to get there and settle in. Also, make sure to check online at the ACT website to see if there are any test site closures.


This will happen mainly because of severe weather. You probably won’t be affected but double-check to be safe.




Set Your Alarms, Yes Alarms


One alarm might not be enough.


Falling asleep might be tough due to nerves, so whatever sleep you get might be hard to wake up from in the morning. That’s why it’s a good idea to have multiple alarms ready to go:


  • Phone alarm
  • Regular alarm clock
  • Family member


Turning off one alarm is easy. Getting up to turn off multiple alarms wakes you up enough to get going. You won’t like it, but it’ll make sure you aren’t late for your test administration.


Have A Good Meal


Don’t go to bed on an empty stomach.


Hunger pangs won’t help you fall asleep. Instead, focus on having a healthy dinner. Focus on ingesting proteins and vegetables, and cut out any unhealthy carbohydrates.


Also, make sure to not eat too late. If you eat too late into the night, your body will focus more on digestion than letting you rest.


Plus you’ll feel more relaxed to rest for the remaining hours that night.


Lay Out Your Clothes


Be prepared with the right outfit.


You’re not just dressing for success on test day. You’re dressing to be comfortable too. The biggest tip here is to bring layers with you.


That way, you aren’t distracted by feeling either too hot or too cold. Keep an eye on what the next day’s weather will be, and pick out an outfit accordingly.


Don’t hesitate to bring along a light jacket or hoodie, because you don’t know how cold the testing center is beforehand. If it gets too warm, then you can always remove that layer.


Get To Bed EARLY


Don’t risk your sleep the night before the test.


You want to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep before your test day. Any less than that can affect your concentration and energy levels the next day.


Remember, the ACT is mentally taxing even when you’re 100% prepared for it. To make things easier, look to go to bed 30 minutes to an hour before your regular bedtime.


Your brain has extra time to unwind and let your body fall asleep. Things to avoid doing during this time include:


  • Playing video games
  • Texting
  • Being on the internet


Shut down your electronics and focus on meditative breathing. It sounds odd, but using meditation and mindful breathing is a great way to calm your mind down, making it easier to fall asleep. 

Go ahead and use these night before the ACT tips, you’ll thank us later.




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Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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