Top Ten Standardized Testing Tips

Luke Foreman, Staff Writer

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It’s that time of year again. Seniors are posting excited Facebook statuses about acceptances to dream, while underclassmen are slaving away, trying to finish the third quarter on the right foot. Juniors have it the roughest. Not only are we finishing up the hardest year of high school, but the impending college search is taking its mental toll. Meanwhile, standardized tests lurk. To try and relieve at least some college stress, here are a few tips that may help calm juniors down on test day.

1. Don’t try and prep the night before. At that point, you won’t learn anything new. It’s better to get to bed at a decent hour.

2. Prepare your calculator the night before. There are too many horror stories of dead batteries, and it’s no fun trying to find the cosine of who-knows-what inside your head.

3. Eat breakfast. Get to bed early so you can get up to sit for a true breakfast. Stress will only increase if you’re frantically looking for nibbles as you run out the door.

4. Take a shower the morning of. You’ll feel more refreshed and ready to work.

5. Plan something fun for after the test. If you have something to look forward to afterwards, the experience will be a little less daunting.

6. Bring food and drink. Grabbing a snack for breaks is better than nervously pacing the halls.

7. Do not bring mechanical pencils. They’re a popular writing utensil at school, but forbidden on both the SAT and ACT.

8. Take it one section at a time. If you’re thinking about slope-intercept form while reading a passage about endangered whales, your score won’t be stellar.

9. On the ACT, guess. On the SAT there’s a punishment for getting a wrong answer, so leave it blank if you can’t narrow down your options.

10. Relax. You’re going to do fine. If you have an off day, you can always take it again. Colleges care about more than just standardized tests. Go in acting like you’ve got nothing to lose, and your score will noticeably improve.

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