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What To Do The Night Before A Test

Perfect night before the test can set you up to be in an excellent mindset on the day of the exam. What you do can impact your score, so be sure to take the following measures and create the ideal, relaxing night before the SAT.

Get Your Things Ready

As soon as you get home from school, or as early in the afternoon as possible, review the College Board’s “Test Day Checklist”. Everything you need should be packed away and ready to go out the door. Be sure your exam ticket is included with your things. You should also plan out your route to the testing center, if you are unfamiliar with where it is. Doing these tasks early in the afternoon will give you plenty of time to remedy any problems long before the evening. You will have ample time to track down a misplaced ID, or buy extra pencils if you need them. Any elevated stress levels can be relieved long before going to sleep.

Easy Review

Before dinner, review a few practice problems. Now is not the time to cram. You will not add to your preparation the night before the exam. Don’t plan a major study session, just a quick review and short practice problem workout. Doing a few practice problems will exercise your brain and boost your confidence the night before the exam.

Eat Like an Athlete

The food you eat tonight will fuel you for tomorrow. Just like a football team has a traditional spaghetti dinner the night before a big game, you need to eat a hearty dinner. Carbs provide extra energy and brain power. Your brain will need plenty of calories to stay focused and alert for the entire exam. You don’t want to eat a very heavy meal in the morning, so carb-load the night before.


Go to bed early. It might take you extra time to fall asleep the night before the exam. Plan for this, and head to bed early to give your mind and body time to relax and drift off to sleep. Do something relaxing before bed such as drinking a cup of chamomile tea, going for a calm walk, or reading a favorite book.

Slow and Calm

The key to the night before the exam is to stay slow and calm. You want to bring your stress levels down so that you can sleep well. Sleeping soundly will help you stay focused and alert through the entire exam. Staying calm the night before will help reduce test anxiety in the morning. You are calm, ready, and confident. You got this! Do what you can to reinforce that attitude the night before the exam.


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