Why Taking Actual Condition SAT, ACT Tests Matter?

When working towards SAT or ACT test, taking full length actual conditions test is one of the most important part of preparation. These practice tests not only provide you with a score but they also highlight your test taking tendencies. How do you manage your time, do you get distracted easily, what kind of test anxiety you have?

Only when you know your weak areas, will you give yourself the real opportunity to ‘fix’ it.

Here are some useful tips for making the most out of your next practice test.

  1. Do not make light of the practice test. Treat it like a real test and only then will you get the most benefit out of taking one. Do not walk in with the attitude that “this is just a practice test, I will be much better in the real test”.
  2. Make sure you have had a good night rest and a good breakfast in the morning. These are long tests and you need the physical stamina and mental alertness to stay focused and do well.
  3. Use your breaks wisely. SAT has shorter breaks as compared to ACT. During the short breaks do quick muscle relaxation exercises. Tense up each limb/muscle part individually in your body for a moment or two and release it quickly. If you still have time left just close your eyes and take deep breaths. Your brain will get fresh oxygen, which will refresh you. During longer breaks eat a snack to provide you the quick energy boost and follow it up with muscle relaxation and breathing exercises.
  4. If you have a tendency to get distracted easily then try and take your practice test with a room full of other people taking the test. Do not expect the test conditions to be ideal. If you have trained under the worst of conditions, you will be ready for anything on the real test day and still give your best.
  5. While taking the test, never ever think or worry about how many question(s) you have to get right or what you need to score. These are important questions but they have no place while you are taking the test. Thinking about this will only cloud up your brain and take away your ability to deal with what you have in front of you.

After you have taken the test, always reflect upon your mental disposition while you were taking the test – were you sweaty, was your heart beating faster, did you open the test/section with a blank page syndrome, did you lose track of time, if you were distracted how did you bring yourself back? With this insight you will know what traps to avoid and what you need to do differently next time.