Preparation You Need To Do Before Taking Standardized Tests

Taking the standardized tests is a major part of the college application process. In addition to your academic standing in your high school year, these standardized tests are one of the bases that college admission officers evaluate. Knowing that it can affect their future, this can bring heavy pressure to every high school students.

For every college, they have different requirements regarding the standardized tests. Some may require for you to take SAT, ACT, and even Advance Placement Test. You also have to remember that there are still lots of things that you have to do, such as high school workloads; school and organization activities; keeping your class ranks and GPA at the top; preparing essential documents for your college applications and financial aid, and keeping up with all of your deadlines. This time of their lives can be very chaotic and extremely stressful for every high school students. But if you keep on thinking about it, then it will just add up to the things that will stress you more. The best thing that you can do is to be prepared for these standardized exams.

Before the test

Preparation is the key for you to perform well. You have to organize your schedule and study periods; make research about the standardized tests from the past years; keep yourself fit and healthy; and just simply relax.

  • Understand the test format

From the previous years, know what formats are being used for each test and the categories on it. If you took a practice test when you are in your junior year, then it will definitely give you the advantage because you were able to experience how the tests are being conducted.

  • Practice

There are several prep classes that you can enroll with. With the help of the mentors, you will be able to improve the areas where you are having difficulties. There are also prep test booklets that you can purchase. With the help of practicing, you will be able to recognize your errors, especially the careless mistakes.

  • Understand how the test is scored

ACT and SAT are graded differently with each other. On SAT, you will lose a quarter of your point for every wrong answer. While on ACT, there is no penalty for wrong answers. This means that on ACT, even if you don’t know the correct answer the best thing that you can do it guess. But with SAT, guessing an answer will give you 75 percent chance of losing a quarter. This is not good on your part because if you add it all up, you might lose huge points in your exam.

  • Prepare your study periods

Never try to cram because it will definitely not help you in getting high scores in the tests. The best thing to do is to start early. Even if it’s still 3 months from the schedule, you should start reviewing. Good studying habits and studying consistently will help you retain the information from your review materials.

  • Keep yourself fit and healthy

Tests are not just about being mentally prepared; you also need to be physically fit so that you will have the energy to study and do your tasks. Your schedule may be chaotic but never neglect yourself. Eating healthy food can also help your memory.

  • Get enough sleep

Do not pull an all-nighter before the test because it will affect your performance. Complete the 7 – 8 hours sleep so that you will be able to fully relax your mind. You will have a clear mind during the exam.

  • Arrive in the testing facility early

If you are not familiar with the venue, then you should leave your home early so that you will have more time to look for the place.

  • Relax your mind before the exam

Keep yourself from feeling pressured and stressed because it will affect your performance. Just keep your mind clear and remember the lessons that you studied.

During the exam

  • Read the instructions and questions carefully.

This is the most important part of the test. You have to pay attention to every single detail. If not, it will lead to an error or a careless mistake that can lead to the reduction in your score.

  • Be aware of the time limit.

Wearing a watch is helpful in the tests so that you will know how much time has passed and the time left for you to finish. It will also help you to calculate how much minutes you have to assign for every question so that you will be able to finish the tests.

  • Don’t get distracted by other students.

It is important you are solely focused on answering the questions. Being distracted can cause you a mistake or get mentally blocked during the test.

  • Avoid guessing your answers, as much as possible.

Remember the scoring of the tests. It is not bad to guess an answer with ACT, but with SAT your points will be deducted from the wrong answers. The most important thing is to make sure that your answer is 100% certain.

  • Review your answers.

If you still have enough time, go back from the start. Check if you followed the instructions correctly. Return to the questions that you were not able to answer yet. Review the questions that you are uncertain with your answer.

Taking standardized tests can be really stressful and will surely put pressure to you. The worst thing that you can do is just think about it and let more stress and pressure add to your mind. Remember that in everything that we do, preparation is always the key to success. With a carefully devised plan and steps to help you with, you will be assured that you will perform well in the tests.