Your hard work preparing for the SAT won’t matter if you aren’t prepared for the logistics of SAT test day. Read on to learn how to spend your time the night before the SAT, what to bring to the SAT, and what happens the morning of the SAT.
The Night Before SAT Test Day
First and foremost, try to stay in and go to sleep early the night before the SAT. Give your body time to get adequate rest so that you will awake refreshed and ready to conquer the exam. Before you go to bed, set out what you will wear and the materials you plan to take.
Make sure that your alarm is set to wake you up at least an hour and a half before you need to leave your home for the exam. You want to allow yourself plenty of time to hear your alarm, get dressed, pack your bag, and eat a big breakfast. Also, if you are unfamiliar with the testing location, look up the directions beforehand. Visualizing your route and knowing how long it will take to get there will help you pace yourself and alleviate potential stressors. Plan ahead so you know how you’ll be getting to the testing center: will a parent drive you? Will you drive yourself? Will you take public transportation? Will you carpool with a friend? Knowing this ahead of time and confirming the night before the SAT will make the morning of the SAT smoother and less stressful.
Your SAT Test Day Checklist
Here’s what to bring to the SAT:
Do not bring your cell phone to the SAT. Students can be kicked out of SAT administrations because they’re caught using their phones—even if not to cheat—or because a phone alarm accidentally goes off. Leave your phone at home, not in your backpack under your desk.
See the CollegeBoard website for more information about what to bring and what not to bring to the SAT.
SAT Test Day Schedule
Even though test doors open at 7:45 AM, try to get there at least 30 minutes earlier. You can expect a long line of students coming to take the same exam as you are. It gives you an upper hand to be one of the first people in the line. You will be assigned your room first and will have more time to sit and relax before the testing begins. You do not want to be one of the people on the back of line who has to worry about getting a room assignment before the test bell rings. You can also use that extra waiting time to use the bathroom so you don’t need to go outside of the designated breaks.
You are allowed to take bathroom breaks beyond the designated break times. However, it would benefit you to not take one. A bathroom break during a timed section can take away the time you have to understand and answer questions. If you do need to take a break, try to do so after you complete the section. You want to make sure you’re maximizing your time and using every minute to answer the questions correctly. This can all be avoided by getting there early enough so that you can use the restroom before the exam begins.
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