The ACT / SAT are demanding tests that require patience, focus, and a whole lot of preparation. Without a doubt, getting ready for a standardized test is a lot to keep track of. At Tutor Doctor, we recommend all students consider taking a prep course before attempting the test of their choice. That being said, when the day before the test arrives, there are still some important last-minute things you should do to get ready. Here are Tutor Doctor's tips to make the day before the ACT / SAT as stress-free as possible!
1) Do a checklist of all required materials. As long as you bring these four essential items, you will have no problems being admitted into the testing facility. Whether you choose to take the ACT or the SAT, these same four items will always be needed.
- Admission ticket: You won't be allowed to take the exam without your admission ticket, so this is the first thing to check for. Generally this ticket is emailed to you after registering for the test, and it's your responsibility to print it (although you can also request a mailed copy). If you lost your original printout, you can always reprint another copy by logging into your account on the test's website.
- Photo ID: You will also not be admitted without a photo identification. This needs to be a valid ID (not expired), and has to be either a government-issued ID, school ID, or a passport. There are some exceptions (check with your college counselor if you aren't able to obtain any of these), but most students bring either a driver's license or state/school ID. If you have any questions about what forms of ID are acceptable, make sure you check the test's official website.
- Two #2 Pencils and an Eraser: Don't rely on the testing center to provide pencils and erasers. It's your responsibility to bring these items. In fact, two pencils is only the minimum – we recommend packing a bunch of extras.
- Calculator: You have the option of using a calculator on both the ACT and the SAT, so don't forget to bring one! Although the sections on which you can use a calculator differ between tests, they both have one thing in common – all calculators need to be an officially approved model. In other words, you can't just pick up any old calculator off the shelf. Cell phones are absolutely not allowed, so this isn't an option. For more information about what calculators are permitted, see the following links:
We also recommend bringing a set of spare batteries if they aren't already brand new. You don't want your calculator to run out of juice in the middle of a math section!
2) Get a good night's sleep. The data doesn't lie – if you're tired on the day of the test, your performance will be affected. Make sure you get a proper night's rest before test day!
3) Pack everything else you might need. Although not required, here are a few items we also recommend bringing to the testing center:
- Water and snacks! You'll get breaks during the test, so it's a good idea to re-hydrate and eat a healthy snack during this time.
- A wristwatch. As we mentioned earlier, cell phones are not permitted. If you don't like checking the clock on the wall, you can bring a watch (just make sure it’s a normal watch and not digital, as these can make beeping noises during the exam).
For more information, visit the official website of the test you are taking. Best of luck!