Tips and Tricks to Deal with Stress When Taking the SAT/ACT

By Huntington Learning Center

While the idea of college might excite your student, SAT stress and ACT stress are very real. This aspect of the college journey can be overwhelming for many. Students want to put their best foot forward on those college applications, but preparing for yet another exam in addition to their school work is a lot.

Here are tips for students on how to deal with stress related to the SAT/ACT:

  1. Make that studying count. The best way to mitigate stress when taking the SAT/ACT or any exam, of course, is to study effectively! Encourage your students to give themselves a few months to prepare. Last-minute studying isn’t as likely to yield strong results. Focused studying on the areas where your student’s skills are weakest is essential. Also, the more time your student takes to become familiar with question types, structure and timing, the more comfortable they will be on test day.
  2. Get organized. Just as it is important to stay organized in school, a detailed study plan will help your student enhance their studying. That plan should carve out time every week, ideally every day, for SAT/ACT prep. It should be developed based on your student’s strengths and weaknesses. That way, every study session is focused and your student doesn’t spend too much time on certain areas and not enough on others.
  3. The night before test day, have your student organize their things. The day before test day is not the time for your student to cram in more studying. They should focus on hydrating, eating healthy foods, laying out everything they will be required to bring along, and getting good sleep. They should put together all items needed for the exam: their ID, number two pencils, eraser, an approved calculator, water and their admission ticket.
  4. Work on test-taking strategies. There are many tips and tricks on the SAT/ACT exams that your student should know to do their best. A few examples:
  • Start with the easy questions and circle back to the more difficult ones at the end of the exam.
  • Fill in all answers on the SAT and ACT, even if guessing, since there is no score penalty for wrong answers.
  • Get familiar with sections and question types in the various sections.
  • Focus on time management to ensure your teen doesn’t run out of time during either exam.
  • Understand how each exam is scored.

If your student needs help preparing effectively for the SAT or ACT, call Huntington. These exams offer a huge opportunity for your student to increase their college competitiveness, boost the résumé, earn scholarships and more. Huntington’s program is customized to each and every student, giving them the confidence and test-taking skills to succeed on the SAT/ACT. In today’s environment, students need every advantage.