T-Minus One: What To Do The Day Before The SAT

You’ve come so far. You’ve studied for weeks, months, and maybe even years. You’ve spent sleepless nights poring over SAT prep books and countless hours in SAT classes. Today is the day before you take the test you and your parents have been obsessing over.
So you ask yourself:

What Do I Do Now?

1. Don’t Study

Cramming will not improve your score.

The one thing that will increase your stress levels and negatively impact your scores is trying to cram the night before taking the SAT. While jotting down a few notes about important topics may be helpful, cramming is not. The SAT is not a memory or a knowledge test. The best thing you can do is forget about the SAT. Take the day off and de-stress.

2. Eat Well

I remember quite vividly the one time I tried to mix up my breakfast diet before taking an SAT Subject Test. I woke up that morning thinking about how the test was going to be a breeze. I had studied for a month, and I was confident about my test-taking abilities.

I decided to treat myself to breakfast from a nearby café that had just opened. I’m not sure what it was, but something about the food didn’t sit well with my stomach. About thirty minutes after I sat down for the test, I frantically rushed to the restroom. And I stayed there. For the rest of the hour.

Take this piece of advice from a humbled guy. Eat a solid, healthy breakfast that you’re comfortable with, at least for today. Save the food poisoning for another day.

3. Sleep

Sleep is essential, especially before mentally-intensive tasks like exams. With less sleep, you’re less focused and more likely to make careless mistakes. Your brain uses part of the time while you’re asleep to repair itself and to remove the built-up waste toxins that have accumulated during the day.

The recommended amount of sleep every night is generally around 7-9 hours.

4. Prepare Everything

Make sure you have at least two No. 2 pencils, an eraser, fresh batteries for your calculator, your admission ticket, and your ID before you sleep.

You’ll be less stressed in the morning if you don’t have to frantically look for everything. Having a snack prepared is helpful too for the break periods. Make sure your alarm is set and that you have everything else that you need for exam day.

5. Relax

Stress is your worst enemy, especially before exam day. I can’t count the number of times I’ve messed up a test that I should have done well on simply because I was too stressed. It’s cliché, but take a deep breath, and don’t do anything too mentally intensive on the day before your exam.

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Go outside, take a walk, go the park, or do anything else that helps you relax, both mentally and physically. If it helps you, put on your headphones and listen to your favorite songs for an afternoon. Just take a step back from everything. Tomorrow won’t be the most important day of your life. If you’re still reading this post, and it’s the day before your exam, stop. Relax.

Let tomorrow come to you, not the other way around.

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