Fear of the unknown is a big cause of pre-SAT stress.
But it doesn’t have to be. The SAT is a known entity! Many of us have taken it (multiple times) and we have wisdom to share.
So, if you’re stressed because you don’t know what to expect on Saturday, you’re not alone. Let us walk you through SAT test day before it even happens.
SAT Test Day Checklist
A great way to stave off test anxiety is to gather everything you need to take to the test before Saturday.
That way, on Saturday morning, you can wake up early, have a nice healthy breakfast, grab your SAT bag, and head out the door without any last minute trips to the store for No. 2 pencils. Or searches in your Mom’s jewelry box for your birth certificate. Or anything else that causes stress and could make you late for the SAT.
Don’t be late for the SAT!!
Stuff That’s Required:
- Your admission ticket
- Sign into your College Board “My SAT” account and select, “Print Admission Ticket”.
- Two No. 2 pencils with new erasers
- You can only use No. 2 pencils on the SAT, and you’ll need good erasers in case you fill in the bubbles wrong.
- Your photo ID
- Check this list to see what qualifies as an acceptable ID.
- A calculator
- Graphing calculators, scientific calculators, and 4-function calculators are all okay. Double check that you have an acceptable calculator by reading the Calculator Policy.
Pro Tip: Put all of these items in a clear ziploc bag so that you can keep everything organized at your desk without arousing any suspicion from the proctor!
Stuff That’s Nice to Have:
- A bag or backpack
- You’ll keep this bag at the front or back of the room, so don’t bring your Jansport backpack that’s exactly the same as everyone else’s. Bring something recognizable that you don’t mind leaving out of sight during the test. (Think: tote bag not designer purse).
- A snack and a drink
- You’ll get a short break during the test, so bring a snack that you can eat quickly in between sections. I recommend water and a slightly sugary snack like trail mix with M&Ms or a Snicker’s bar – you’ll want the protein and (light) sugar high to get you through the remaining sections.
- Extra batteries
- You really don’t want your calculator to run out of batteries during the test. I strongly recommend going into the SAT with fresh batteries in your calculator. Either way, bring extras – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- A watch
- Some testing locations don’t have a very visible clock. The proctor will help you with time management, but you’ll feel less stressed if you can keep track of the time on your own. Make sure that your watch does not make any noise. If your alarm accidentally goes off during the test, you will be accused of cheating. Don’t risk it.
Pro Tip: If you’re worried about what you’re allowed to bring to the SAT, find more information on the College Board’s website.
Guys, You’re Ready
Trust in all the hard work that you’ve put in. Don’t second guess yourself. Do everything in your power to go into the test confident, well-rested, and well-nourished – then, do your best!
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About Rita Neumann
Rita creates fun, inspiring, and educational resources that introduce students to Magoosh and help them prep for their exams. She earned both her BA and Master of Pacific International Affairs from UC San Diego, where she also studied Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Rita loves education and marketing, just as much as she loves vinyasa yoga and baking chocolate chip cookies.
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