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How to Be Ready for Test Day

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  • 0:03 Test Day Prep
  • 0:35 Sleep
  • 1:45 Preparation & Gear
  • 2:51 Test Day
  • 3:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth has been involved with tutoring since high school and has a B.A. in Classics.

Don't let poor preparation on test day undo all the work you did to get ready for the test. In this lesson, you'll learn some strategies for the big day from a master of time management.

Test Day Prep

You've studied hard; you've gone through practice problems; you've put in all the work to do well on test day... so don't sabotage yourself with beginner mistakes! In this lesson, you'll get some timeless advice on test day prep from the original time management guru: Benjamin Franklin.

Ben Franklin was big on saving time and planning ahead, both of which will serve you well as you're getting ready for the test. And you never know: if you grow up to found a new country some day, you might find that his advice comes in handy for that, too!

Sleep

Our first pearl of wisdom is one you've probably heard before: 'Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.' And while it's nice to be healthy and wealthy, the 'wise' part is really what you care about on the test.

Here's how to manage your sleep to make sure your brain is running at full capacity on test day:

Decide when to wake up. You'll want to be up in time to eat breakfast without rushing and then get to the test center 15 minutes early. Count backwards from that time to figure out when you need to hit the sack for a solid eight hours of shut-eye.

Don't stay up to cram. This is a double whammy of test-day sabotage. Hitting the books the night before the test won't help you the next morning; it'll just make you stressed. At that point, if you have prepared, you're all set, and if you haven't, there's nothing you can do. And if you skimp on sleep to pore over your notes, you'll be groggy and tired the next morning. Just say no!

Instead, do something relaxing, like watching a movie or hanging out with your friends. Then, go to bed early enough to get a good night of sleep before you have to be up in the morning.

Preparation and Gear

With your sleep dialed in, it's time to talk supplies. Having the right gear with you on test day can make all the difference. If you've got everything you need, you'll breeze right through the check-in and walk into the test center feeling good. But if you start your day in a disorganized panic, it'll be hard to settle down and approach the test calmly. So, to keep your head in the game, pay attention to another one of Ben Franklin's famous maxims: 'Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.'

In this case, that translates to 'get everything ready the night before the test.' Before you go to bed, double-check your test center and print out directions if you've never been there before. Print out your admission ticket, too, if you haven't already; that's the paper ticket you downloaded when you registered for the test. Then grab the bag you'll be taking to the test the next morning filled with your:

  • Admission ticket
  • Directions to the test center (if applicable)
  • Photo ID
  • Pencils
  • Calculator
  • Water bottle and a snack

Don't trust yourself to remember all that when you're fumbling around the next morning!

Test Day

Now that you know how much sleep you need and what to get ready in advance, it's time to talk about test day. And again, Ben Franklin comes through with some wise advice: 'Great haste makes great waste.' The whole point of planning ahead is to save you from rushing on the big day - you want to roll into the test center feeling confident, not rushed or jittery.

After you wake up, here's the plan:

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