Tag Archives: test day

No matter how diligently you prepare for the big tests, all your effort can come to naught if you drop the ball on test day. Everything you do in the week leading up to the test matters, as does everything you bring–or forget to bring–to the testing center. College Board provides a helpful Test Day Checklist that becomes even more useful with our expanded recommendations, which we update every year: What to Bring Your Admission Ticket (print at least TWO days before you need it.) Acceptable photo ID (pay attention to the rules around acceptable ID.) Two No. 2 pencils with erasers (mechanical pencils are not allowed, but big erasers are.) An approved calculator (either pack a spare or be ready if your calculator fails.) Tissues (Testing seems to elicit all kinds of sniffles, sneezes, and tears.) Required medications and medical devices (go ahead and pack a special first aid…

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Imagine you were driving down the road and saw what seemed to be really important paperwork regarding your most fervent academic aspirations. This may sound like a wild hypothetical, but, too often, truth is stranger than fiction… Raina Porras and her mom were in the car when they saw papers littering the street last week. Looking closer, Porras, a junior at El Paso High School, saw what seemed like Scantron bubbles filled in across the pages. Her mom joked that the papers were her PSAT scores because she’d just taken the exam the day before. Her mom was right. Apparently, the answer sheets for the SAT exams that students took at El Paso High School on October 27 were lost in transit after being submitted to UPS. According to the El Paso Independent School District, staffers recovered all but 55 of the answer documents. What can be done for students…

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Did your parents ever give you a big plate of fish for dinner, telling you it was “brain food”? Maybe you wondered how it made any sense that salmon could make you smarter, but as it turns out, there’s a little bit of truth to it. Nutritionists and physicians have studied so-called superfoods for decades, decoding the science behind their supposed effects on the human body, and there have been tons of foods with observed positive impacts on the brain: Fish, of course, but more specifically fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, trout and sardines. Turmeric, a powerful antioxidant that’s a staple in curries. Blueberries, blackberries, and other dark berries are full of antioxidants and can combat inflammation across the whole body. Broccoli, which supplies the Vitamin K that’s a building block of the fat in brain cells. Nuts of every kind have nutrients that are linked to…

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The first step to your best test scores is, through deliberate practice and expert coaching, to prove once that you are capable of earning your target score. The next step is to prove that you can keep earning that score. High stakes testing has much more to do with sports than with school when it comes to doing your best when it counts. While one coach has been credited with saying, “That’s why we play the game to see who’ll win,” everyone who has ever competed knows well that being favored to win means nothing once the whistle blows and every player strives to win. Just like athletes, many test takers experience dramatic swings in performance from test to test. Since inconsistency stems from a variety of underlying problems, focus on fixing every aspect of your practice to unlock your best every time the moment matters: 1. Use real test…

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For all the emphasis in test prep on critical thinking, memorizing formulas and mastering grammar, sometimes making your target score on a standardized test comes down to the little things. The day I took the ACT, I had a terrible cough (this was way back in 2015, don’t worry) that made it pretty hard to focus, and I didn’t do nearly as well as I could have. There wasn’t much I could have done about cold season, but it just goes to show how outside factors can trip you up on test day, even when you’re otherwise prepared. This goes double for students labeled “twice-exceptional”—gifted kids with autism, ADHD, anxiety, or other problems that make them highly sensitive to their environment. If that’s you, or even if you just want to make sure you’re in top form for test day, here are some tips for keeping calm, focused and ready…

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As feared, the coming of fall this year has also brought a surge in COVID-19 infections. Fortunately from a testing perspective, test sites for the August SAT should remain open in most areas. Our Annotated Test Day Checklist already includes a facemask, and it looks like you’re going to need it. As per College Board, here’s what you should expect when you arrive to take the SAT: All students and staff must wear a mask regardless of vaccination status upon entering the test center and throughout the duration of testing. We recommend you bring a spare. You won’t be allowed into the testing center unless you are wearing one. You’ll be required by test centers to be seated at least 3 feet away from other students. Check your test center’s website for any additional health and safety measures so you’ll be prepared to follow them. If you don’t feel well…

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