What Not to Think About During the SAT

The SAT is a long and grueling exam. As the three hours and forty-five minutes pass by, a lot of thoughts come across your mind. Here is a list of thoughts that you should avoid.

1) “I want to give up. I am so tired.”

As they say, never ever give up. I get it, the test feels unending and you need a lot of focus to get through it. The SAT is exhausting for most people. However, do not give up on the exam because you CAN do it. It’s a test of stamina but if you try your best to maintain focus, you will receive the score that you rightfully deserve. Getting ample sleep (7-9 hours) the night before the test will dramatically improve your concentration during the SAT. You don’t want to be that person passed out and drooling on the answer bubble sheet.

2) “What if this is the experimental section?’

Most people know that there is always a section on the SAT that isn’t actually graded. It is a normal looking section but can cover math, critical reading, or writing. It is a way for the makers of the SAT to test out new material for future tests. Don’t let this thought cross your mind! You want to pretend as if every section counts towards your SAT score. Don’t assume that a certain section is experimental and is therefore a green light to slack off for 30 minutes. You want to put your best foot forward no matter what. Having a determined attitude can only help you perform better on all the sections.

3) “I am not doing well so far.”

Defeatist attitudes never did any good for anyone. Just because you were not able to answer some math questions does not mean you are doing poorly on the SAT. There are plenty of points to be gained from the many other sections of the exam. Never assume that a few hiccups will keep you from getting a satisfactory score. Keep fighting through the test. The confidence will only serve you well by helping you think more clearly.


4) “This test determines my future.”

The significance of the SAT may be a motivator for some but don’t take it to the extreme. Telling yourself that you must get X SAT score or bust is the wrong mentality. If you work to the best of your ability, you will receive the score that you deserve. No matter what score that ends up being, you will end up at the college you are supposed to be at. Don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself while taking the exam because the reality is that the SAT doesn’t determine the rest of your life. Once you are in a college that is right for you, you won’t even remember what you got on the SAT. So relax!


I hope some of these points resonated with you and good luck! I am positive none of you will end up like the kid in this meme!




  • Myka Yamasaki

    Myka will be attending Occidental College (located in Los Angeles) in the fall and is very excited! She is looking forward to reflecting on her high school experience to help others do their best on the SAT/ACT and in college admissions. She loves cats, food, and friends.

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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