Things We Don’t Have Time to Cover in Class

SAT Tips & Tidbits


Be careful when bubbling in your answers on the SAT.  Sometimes the sections on your answer sheet have more bubbles than the test booklet has questions.  That can mess you up very easily.     Some people like to answer all the questions in the test booklet, then go back and bubble in all of the corresponding bubbles on the answer sheet.  This is ok, as long as you remember to do so!

The Certification Statement

There is a statement you have to rewrite onto your answer sheet and then sign.  You have to transcribe this statement in cursive!?!  We know… who uses cursive?  Shoot… Gregg isn’t even sure if he remembers all of the cursive letters.  Just realize that you’re going to have to do this.  No one is telling you to practice, but it doesn’t hurt.  What’s more important, however, is simply knowing that this part is coming.  Don’t get all bent out of shape over having to bust out your cursive skills.  It is what it is.

Snack Foods

When you get your five minute breaks, you can munch on some snacks outside of the testing location.  You need something that you can eat quickly, but will help to carry you through the test.  You might be there for five hours.  You need to come prepared.

If you want to go the healthy route, almonds are supposedly very good for you.  Among their many benefits, they supposedly boost brain activity.  Sounds like a good choice when you’re taking a super-important test!

Apples are another great and healthy snack choice.  Everyone knows that fresh fruit is good for you, but apples actually make you feel full… something really important when you’re stuck in a testing location for such a long time.  And the juice in apples is also beneficial because it helps to keep you hydrated, something else we all know is very important.

Dark chocolate is also supposedly very good to have on test day.  For one thing, it increases blood flow to the brain, so it apparently increases cognitive function.  Dark chocolate also helps to trigger endorphins, which makes you happier.  Being happy and positive while taking the SAT is a sure way to do better on it.  And finally, chocolate is also a mild stimulant because of the caffeine in it, so it will help you to stay awake and focused during the long test.

A not-quite-as-healthy snack option are the muffins you can buy from the Costco bakery.  You know… blueberry, banana nut, chocolate, etc.  Gregg actually used to work there, and back in the day each one of those muffins had nearly 45 grams of fat in it!  Not exactly good for you, but all the oil that keeps them so moist also helps to fill you up.  Gregg remembers eating them in the morning and not being hungry again until dinner time.  We can’t attest to the specific nutritional value of these muffins any more, but we’re sure that they’re a tasty treat on test day.

Avoid the Crowds

We can’t think of anyone who likes crowds.  And when it comes to test-taking, the more people you’re in a room with the more distractions you might have.  Ask the Career/College Specialist at your school what the most popular SAT test dates are, and try to avoid them if you can.  May is huge, because everybody puts off taking the SAT until the end of the year.  Try March instead.

You can also find out if your school puts test-takers in single classrooms, double-classrooms, or… gulp… gymnasiums!  You definitely want to stay away from them.