We won’t beat around the bush: standardized tests are intimidating for most students. And, rightfully so - anyone would feel pressured with a test that determines one's future.
However, it's important to remember the positive aspects: you have the option to retake the exam as many times as you like and as much time to prep as you need! That being said, the more you prepare and practice, the more confident you’ll feel.
In order to ensure you’ve got all your ducks in a row, we thought a testing to-do list might be helpful and, hopefully, ease some of your worries about the exam.
These may seem like common sense tips but, remember, sometimes common sense goes out the window when you're nervous, scared or worried. That's why it's important to have a list just in case you need help remembering these not-so-common-sense to do's.
Here’s a to-do list so you can prepare before, after and during your standardized tests.
Follow this list to exam success:
1. Register for the ACT/SAT
You can look online for test dates and register for the ACT
2. Take a Test Prep Course
Anything you can do to better prepare yourself for testing, like taking practice courses will help you. It can even help familiarize you with a test-like setting when you take practice exams sitting with other students in a classroom. Experts say practicing in a like-setting can help, so it may benefit your test-taking abilities.
3. Practice Online
Utilize online practice questions
as they will help familiarize you with testing words, question wording and formatting.
4. Time Yourself
One of the most difficult aspects of standardized testing students find are the timed portions. Keep track of your timing as you take practice tests, so you’ll be more confident the day of the exam.
5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
While you will be stressed the night before an exam, make sure to try to get a good night’s sleep. That way, you’ll be alert and refreshed on the morning of the test.
6. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Make sure to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast the morning of the exam. After all, everyone is more clear-headed on a full stomach and you won't have to worry about your stomach grumbling halfway through the exam.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Retake
If you’re not happy with your first exam score, don’t shy away from trying again.
Often times, nerves get the best of students and they don’t perform as well as they should. The second (or third) time around will be more familiar and, as a result, more successful.
8. Don’t Scramble the Morning of the Exam
Prepare everything you need the night before the exam so you won’t feel rushed in the morning. Your identification, any papers you may need, pencils and a calculator should be packed and ready to go.
9. Consider Hiring a Tutor
If you feel you need more individualized preparation, there are affordable tutors that can help. Often times, your high school will have resources and study groups available free of charge.
Easier said than done, right? But, remember, it is just an exam.
Ultimately, the exam that can be retaken - how many exams can you say that for? Exercise, breathe or do whatever helps to allow you to de-stress.