How to Nail the SAT or ACT

It has been said that the SAT and ACT are the most important tests that you take in high school. Colleges rely heavily on these tests in order to gauge the intellect of an applicant.

Nerve-wracking isn’t it? A test that seemingly defines your future can be a bit intimidating, but it’s not as bad as you may think. There are plenty of tips and tricks to do well on the SAT or ACT and I have compiled five of the best tips in order to make sure you do as well as you can on your big test.


Get a Test Book or Complete an Online Course

There are test books and online courses available through College Board that can help you prepare for the SAT or ACT. Online practice tests are available as well that are free, and you can use these to get an idea of what the test will look like.

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Get A Lot of Sleep

Getting a full night of sleep is crucial the night before a big exam. It is recommended that teenagers get 9-10 hours per day, so before you take the exam you should make sure you get a full night of rest so that your brain can handle thinking critically for hours of testing!

Eat A Good Breakfast


Though it may seem silly, the food we eat actually contributes a lot to how well our memory functions and our performance in daily activities. It has been said that protein rich foods such as eggs, nuts, yogurt, and cottage cheese are “brain-boosting” food, and are good to eat before a test.. Also, it has been said that peppermint is great to have before a big test because it sharpens your memory. So on the big test day, eat some bacon and eggs and pop in a mint and you’ll be good to go!

Know The Order of Difficulty

On tests like the SAT and ACT, the questions start out easier and increase in difficulty as they go. It’s important to know this so that you can pace yourself accordingly while taking your exam. Make sure you get the easier questions correct and then tackle the harder ones if time permits. All of the questions are weighted equally even if some are more difficult then others. This means your best bet is to answer as many of the easy and medium questions as you can before spending extra time on the harder ones.

Look For Wrong Answers Instead of Right Answers

By using the process of elimination, you will have a better chance at choosing the correct answer when guessing on a question. On the SAT, you will have 5 options per questions. If you can eliminate some of the wrong answers, your odds of guessing correctly are 25% or higher. An incorrect guess will cost you only a quarter of a point. A correct guess will add an entire point.

Be aware that in Spring 2016 you will no longer receive a penalty for answering a question incorrectly.

The New SAT

Though the SAT and ACT may seem scary an intimidating, it’s something that every student going to college has to do, which means they’re very doable exams. In fact, the College Board is actually altering the SAT for the spring of 2016 to make it more “user friendly” for college students. Some of the changes that they are going to make are making the essay section optional, getting rid of the penalty for guessing, and changing the vocabulary to words that are used more on a daily basis.

 If you want to ensure that you do well on your exam, just make sure that you use practice questions and are aware of their difficulty, have a good night’s rest before, eat a balanced breakfast, and to use the process of elimination. If you can keep these tips in mind, you will do well on the SAT, ACT or both.

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