Test-Taking Tips

  • Make sure you have the right location and date. It sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to assume you know the day and place when in fact you do not.
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before and eat a nutritious breakfast—but not too much. And stay away from the sugar! Sure, it might give you some immediate energy, but it won’t last through the whole test.
  • Get to the test location early and allow extra time for traffic. If you are late, you will not be allowed to test.
  • Bring your school- or state-issued ID, your admission ticket, two No. 2 pencils (not mechanical), a good eraser, a scientific or graphing calculator, and a watch to pace yourself.
    Please note: The tests are designed not to require a calculator, but you may take one if you wish. Only take a calculator with which you are familiar and comfortable. Do not buy a calculator just for the test. Some calculator models are prohibited. Be sure to check the official website to make certain that your calculator is acceptable before leaving for the test.
  • Leave all cell phones, mpg players, tablets, and other portable electronic devices at home. If you are discovered with one of these during the test, your test will be invalidated.
  • Use the correct school code: 030240. DO NOT use the code of the school where you take the test, nor should you use the home schooling code.
  • Do the easy questions first and then go back to do the harder ones. Each question counts the same, so make sure you do not miss out on easy points if you run out of time.
  • The SAT and PSAT dock a quarter point for wrong answers, so do not guess if you have no idea of the correct answer. However, if you can eliminate at least one of the choices, go ahead and make an educated guess.
  • The ACT and PLAN do not dock you for incorrect answers, so leave no question blank. If you are running out of time, quickly fill in an answer for all the questions left.
  • For the PSAT: Check out the College Board’s online PSAT preparation info. If you look at the left side of the page and click on the links in the light-blue-shaded area, it will give you some helpful tips and study hints. They also have sections of a practice test for you.