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SAT Test Day Tips To Remember

Don’t let last-second nerves derail your confidence to take the SAT. Use these SAT test day tips to get your mind right before stepping into the testing center.

Before test day itself, get the most mileage out of your SAT practice tests with these tips too.


SAT Test Day Tips – Before Test Center Arrival 

Use these strategies to make your SAT test pre-game as smooth as possible.

Dress In Layers

You don’t know what the room’s temperature will be.

Make sure to bring at least a light jacket or hoodie with you. Either wear one or pack it in your back when leaving.

The reason being that the testing center will most likely have the air conditioning on, but you won’t know how cold it is. Don’t let your brain get distracted because your body feels too cold.

On the flip side, if you feel too warm wearing a specific outer layer, then you can simply remove it and continue. Either way, don’t let your body distract your brain from answering timed questions.

Don’t Forget Breakfast!

A healthy meal beforehand makes a difference.

Don’t count on eating a quick Pop-Tart before heading out the door. Sugars won’t help you at all. It’s best to eat a filling breakfast, but it doesn’t have to be huge.

Protein-rich foods like eggs are always a good choice. If you don’t normally have breakfast, then don’t feel obligated to eat something too far out of the norm.

Instead, focus on a simple, protein-rich meal that you can enjoy. Remind yourself that you’re literally ingesting fuel that your brain and body are using to succeed.


Warm Up Your Brain

While eating breakfast, take a few minutes to read.

It doesn’t matter the source, it could be a news website article, magazine, or a few pages in a book. The point is you are warming up your brain for the test ahead.

Read an article or two that catch your interest. It’ll have two effects:

  • You’ll wake up more easily mentally
  • You’ll be in a better mood before leaving

Don’t think you have to read The New York Times; simply find something that engages you and enjoy it.

Get To The Testing Center EARLY

Don’t take a chance on being late. You’re likely taking the test for the first time in an unfamiliar location. There’s always some confusion on where to go and signing in. Here’s what you have to know:

  • Every test center opens up at 7:45 am
  • Test center doors close at 8:00 am

If you are not inside the testing center once the test begins, you cannot be admitted. Now, if you’re late or absent, then it’s possible to reschedule your test date.

However, that means you have to wait longer and still pay a fee to do so. Do yourself a favor and get to the testing center early and ready to go.

Keys To Remember During Testing

Keep these key ideas in mind when in the middle of test-taking.

  • Stay calm and be confident
    • you’re ready for this test
  • Focus on the section you’re working on in at that time
    • don’t think about what’s already done or coming up
  • Don’t linger too long on a question
    • you can always guess and move on
  • Remember to breathe when stressed
    • close your eyes
    • take a few deep breaths and relax
    • then continue
  • Use your breaks efficiently
    • make sure to use the restroom
    • eat your snacks to keep the energy up
    • stand up to stretch and move for blood flow


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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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