Preparation can help SAT, ACT success

Sofia Anderson and Sydney Davis – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Some big testing dates are ahead for Mustangs, especially seniors.  The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is being offered this Saturday, Dec. 2, and the American College Testing (ACT) is being offered on Saturday, Dec. 9.

There are many ways to get prepared for the SAT and ACT tests.

The ACT college readiness assessment is a standardized test for high school achievement and college admissions in the United States.

The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States.


  1. Take a practice test: your practice test score is your baseline. You can use your baseline score to help you make a study plan on what you need to know.

Free Practice sites

  1. Sign up for an in-person prep class: Anyone who finds it hard to study on your Saturdays off might want to consider a class taught by an instructor who will hold students accountable. Complete with homework and plenty of in-class practice, a prep class will put students through your paces and keep them on track all semester long.
  2. Get a private tutor: One-on-one tutoring sessions ensure students get on-the-spot feedback and customized lessons to their needs and learning styles.
  3. Prep over summer: Students who are swamped during the school year can take advantage of their lighter workload in the summer.


Don’t review anything:  Students who have prepared well for the test (and even those who haven’t!), it’s hard to process and retain much more useful information in the hours before the SAT.


  • Eat a satisfying and healthy dinner – ideally something with produce, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. The brain needs fuel.
  • Get in bed earlier than usual – maybe 30-60 minutes before your normal bedtime. This gives you a bit more time to fall asleep if you’re having trouble.

If you can’t get to sleep, here are some things to try:
•     Do some light, gentle stretches.

  • Listen to some relaxing music.
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Drink a cup of herbal tea (just make sure to stay away from caffeine).

Take a shower to save time the next morning. This may also help students relax and get to sleep.


  • Play video games, surf the internet, or play on your phone for 2-3 hours before going to bed. The light from the screens and monitors can keep people from falling asleep.
  • Disrupt your normal bedtime routine. If you do certain things before bed every night, follow through with your normal rituals.
  • Take any medications to help you go to sleep. Unless sleep medications are part of the normal bedtime routine, avoid any sleep aids. They could negatively affect the next morning, making you groggy and slow.


Try to avoid caffeine. It can make a person nervous and jittery.

Stay in the moment.

After finishing the exam, reward the hard work!

Gather everything for test day. There are only a few required items, but there are many items that would be smart to have.

  • Admission ticket (mandatory)
  • Acceptable ID card (mandatory)
  • Several sharpened #2 pencils (mandatory)
  • A couple of erasers
  • An approved calculator
  • A bottle of water and snacks to eat during breaks. These may have to stay in a bag, and will have to be consumed outside of the testing room.

Know what students shouldn’t bring on test day. Any forbidden items could lead to getting the exam taken away.

  • Any electronic device aside from a calculator.
  • Any writing utensils or tools aside from #2 pencils.
  • Any pamphlets or papers.
  • Dictionaries or other books.

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