Jay KC, CollegeFindMe Intern
The SAT and ACT can be stressful exams for a student can take, and combining that with regular schoolwork is a recipe for high-level stress. Here is some advice on how you can handle them both.
Keep a calendar
A lot of people find keeping a calendar excessive or tedious, but it can actually be a great way to manage your time. A calendar is especially useful because it helps you physically lay out your day and keeps you in check. I’m someone that is pretty forgetful, so looking at a calendar that says “Study for SAT 6:00-8:00” is a simple reminder to stay on top of my goals. Even better, make sure to turn on notifications or download one of the many apps that can help you remember to study.
While it might seem easier, procrastination can really hurt your progress. You have to manage your schoolwork and test prep efficiently, but procrastination can force you to rush and eventually cause you more stress than if you had just worked consistently from the beginning. Preparing for these tests can feel like a lot, so be sure to break it into smaller pieces that you can check off of your to-do list and feel more productive. Also be sure to reward yourself as you cross more things off your list – this will keep you motivated!
This is one of the most important things to do when it comes to handling the SAT and ACT with school. It is likely that school and standardized testing aren’t the only two things taking up your time. Sports, jobs, after-school clubs, volunteering, and family can fill up your schedule, so make sure to come up with an action plan of what needs the most work. If you’re struggling with the essay portion, set aside time specifically dedicated to your writing skills, even if it means holding off on other activities for a little while.
Of course, studying is one of the most important parts of this process. You have to know how to study efficiently and effectively. The SAT and ACT cover a broad range of topics spanning from 9th-12th grade, and it is difficult to go over all of that information in depth. The best way to go through this is by taking a few practice tests to figure out what areas you are struggling in, and then devoting your attention there.
Relaxing is one of the most important parts of handling the SAT and ACT while in school. While both school and standardized tests are important, neither should force you to sacrifice your mental health. Besides, in taking care of your mind, you’re setting yourself up for success further down the road. These tests aren’t everything, so don’t overwork yourself to get the best score possible. Try your best, but don’t forget that you are so much more than any test score, and colleges know that.
When you get your score, be sure to add them to your CollegeFindMe profile, but remember that these scores are only one piece in a much larger puzzle that can help you stand out to schools.