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Last Minute Prep Tips

At this point, the most important thing you can do is to get comfortable with the test. Make sure you know the directions, the format, and which material is tested.

Know which math concepts are tested. Review the concepts you know and the ones you've learned but forgotten. Take a brief look at any brand new concepts. Either decide that you can learn then by test day, or learn how to spot them so you can skip those questions without wasting time.

Review any vocabulary words you've learned. This will help you a lot more than trying to learn new words so close to test day. It's easier to review old word than to learn new ones, and this will help you avoid those "I know I learned this word but now I don't remember it" moments.

Look over sample essay prompts and read some scored SAT essays. (The College Board Book is a great resource.) Make sure you know exactly what the graders are looking for. Start brainstorming a few examples (a favorite book or movie, a sports event you participated in or witnessed, an extracurricular event that was meaningful), and try to apply each example to as much prompts as you can.

Do a few practice problems of each type. Make sure you know the directions, and exactly how you're going to approach each type of question.

If you have time, do a timed essay as well. You might also consider a few timed sections, especially in critical reading, the section that tends to be the toughest in terms of pacing.
Take a practice test, preferable on Saturday, followed by a review of the test on Sunday. (If you are taking the test on Sunday for religious reasons, you may prefer to take your practice test on Sunday, and review the test throughout the week.) Give yourself a 5 minute break about every three sections.

Make your practice test as test-like as possible. Go through the same routine that you'll go through on test day: wake up early, eat breakfast, make sure you have everything you need (even if you're taking the test at home). Give yourself four hours for the test, turn off your phone and computer, and tell you family not to bother you. (Some find it helpful to take this final practice test at a library or other quiet site.)

Review every question, not just the ones you missed. As you review each question, ask yourself, "What did I do right? What can on do better on test day?"

Pay particular attention to how you paced yourself. Did you run out of time on any sections? You probably spend too much time on a few time consuming questions. Don't be afraid to skip hard or long questions. If you have time, you can always come back to these questions at the end, and if you don't have time, it's better that you did the faster, easier questions instead. (The key is to spot the hard/long questions quickly - if it takes three minutes before you decide to skip the question, that doesn't help anybody.)

Try to resist the urge to score your practice test. Instead of emphasizing a number, focus on your strategy for test day.
Don't go overboard with practicing the week before the test. You're not going to learn 1000 words or an entire year of geometry this week. The best thing you can do this week is to take care of your body: eat well, exercise, and get a good night's sleep each night.

Adjust your body's schedule to test day. Go to bed and wake up at the times you'll need to before the test.

You might want to brush up on a few concepts that gave you trouble on the test, but don't spend too much time on new concepts. You're unlikely to master them in a few days, and will probably just make yourself nervous. Remember, you don't need to answer every question to get a good score.

If you struggled with pacing on the practice test, do a few timed sections. Focus on finding the quick, easy questions and doing those first.

Continue thinking positive thoughts. If you spend the whole week freaking out about the test, that's likely to hurt your score. Instead, every time you think a negative or nervous thought, replace it with a positive thought. I know it sounds corny, but it works.
Make sure you are very comfortable with the test directions.

Do a brief strategy review.

Make sure you (or whoever is driving you) know how to get to the test site. If you're not taking the test at your own school, consider driving out to the test site to ensure you know how to get there and where to park.
Have a relaxing evening, and get everything ready to ensure a (relatively) stress free morning.

Print out and review the Test Day Checklist. Is there anything else that you personally will want to bring on test day (for example: tissues, cough drops, a lucky charm)? Pack your bag or backpack, and lay out your clothes.

Eat a good dinner and go to bed early (but not too early). Set an alarm clock, and a back-up alarm clock. (I like to use the alarm on my phone as a back-up because it will go off even if the power goes out. Parents can also make good back up alarms!) Make sure you set the alarm early enough for you to get ready without rushing.

DON'T STUDY! Instead, do something you find relaxing, like reading or watching a favorite movie.
Try to stay calm. Most people feel nervous before a big test, and little nerves probably won't hurt your score. Keep your thoughts positive, and calmly go through your morning routine, so that you keep those little nerves in check.

Eat something. Even if you don't usually eat breakfast, you don't want to go into the test hungry. If you're thinking about how hungry you are, you're not completely focused on the test.

Read something while you're eating. It will take your mind off the test, give you an idea or two for the essay, and help you to wake up.

Go through your checklist one last time (even if you're sure you have everything), and give yourself plenty of time to get to the test site.

When you get to the test, there's always the chance that things will be a little disorganized. Don't let that concern you. Your job is to take the test. The logistics are up to someone else.
While you're waiting for the test to start, review how you're going to approach each type of question. (Don't worry if you can't remember everything. Once you start, the test will jog your memory. The purpose of this exercise is to keep you focus and help you feel prepared.)

During the test, stay calm, and keep moving. Do the questions in the order that makes the most sense to you, and don't worry about questions that seem tough. (Hard questions sometimes look a little friendlier when you give them a second look.)

Fill in your answers in the test booklet in addition to bubbling them in. If you have time at the end of a section, double check that you bubbled everything correctly.

Don't worry about a section once it's over. Don't try to keep score as you go. Just focus on the question in front of you. When you're done with that question, pick the next question and focus on that.

Use the breaks to refresh yourself. Don't think about the test during the breaks.

Above all, stay positive. It's normal to feel nervous or to briefly lose focus. If these things happen, don't beat yourself up (that will just make things worse). Instead, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and move onto the next question.