Tag Archives: test day

Into each life, a little rain–or snow or natural disaster or pandemic–must fall. Isn’t that how the line goes? No matter what calamity comes your way, don’t make it worse by showing up for a test that’s been cancelled. Both College Board and ACT maintain pages with critical information about test center closings and reschedules. SAT Test center closings for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests are listed on the SAT Test Center Closings page a few days before each test date. Information about makeup testing is posted to this page as it becomes available. If a makeup date has been confirmed, that information is included. Note that students affected by test center closings will be notified by email, possibly before the official page is updated. It’s also worth sharing that the College Board page doesn’t always update quickly, so consider checking in with the school hosting your test if…

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No matter how much or well you practice, your score comes down to how well you perform when it counts. While we rightly focus on what happens on test day, we’d be remiss if we ignored that all-important night before test day. You cannot guarantee a given score but you can guarantee that you arrive relaxed, confident, and prepared to earn that score by following these three steps: Pack everything you’ll need the night before. Don’t wait until you wake up to get your essential gear together. If you’ll need to present ID and an admissions ticket, make sure you locate them before you turn in for the night. Also assemble a comfortable wardrobe with layers in case your testing environment is too warm or too cold. Pack performance snacks, water, and tissues. Also make sure that any calculator you bring is fully charged. Directions to an unfamiliar test center…

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Test anxiety is truly an unruly beast, eager to sabotage us during our most important moments. Fortunately, all kinds of strategies work well at taming this beast. If you’ve ever struggled with maintaining peak performance in the face of stress, consider adding expressive writing to your arsenal. Expressive writing?! Gerardo Ramirez and Sian L. Beilock, researchers from the University of Chicago, unraveled an interesting knot of interactions: – Worries lead to poor test performance. – Expressive writing helps regulate worries. – Expressive writing should lead to better test performance. These researchers devised a series of tests to test their hypothesis that expressive writing benefits high-stakes test performance, especially for students who tend to worry in testing situations, by reducing rumination. They created a high-stakes math testing environment in their lab and amped up the pressure among subjects. Then, subjects spent 10 min either sitting quietly (control group) or writing as…

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No college-bound student wants to hear the word “waitlist” from the school of her dreams. But the waitlist option can be a boon to anyone who misses the registration deadline or decides at the last minute to take a test. The College Board neatly summarizes the risk and reward of waitlist status: Waitlisted students are admitted to the test center on a first-come, first-served basis. Waitlisted students are seated after all regularly registered test-takers have been admitted and if sufficient test materials, staff, and seating are available. If weather or some other unexpected condition closes your test center, your waitlist request will be canceled and you will be notified. You may be able to submit a new waitlist request for another center if there’s time. So the most important fact to keep in mind is that students on the waitlist, or what ACT refers to as Standby Testing, are NOT…

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Consider this a respectful response to our “Ode to the Big Pink Eraser.” I’ve never been a fan of a stand-alone pink eraser. It never stays next to my pencil, for one thing. For another, well, it gets lost a lot, which is essentially the same thing. It’s bulky, too. A fistful of eraser comes in handy at times, but most mistakes are not large enough to merit the blunt-end surface area of Big Pink. But what to do? I’m not meaning to suggest that the stubby nubbin on the pencil end will do the job. Though handy and right-sized for most corrections, everyone knows the tiny cylinder’s useful life is way shorter than the pencil’s. Nothing is worse than a long and lovely pencil with a worn-out, flat eraser. My go-to solution to the woefully inadequate standard-issue pencil-top eraser is (drum roll please) the add-on eraser cap. This roof-shaped…

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Sometimes, even doing everything right can’t protect you from the wrong outcomes. Imagine being a teen who takes all the right steps to ensure that he nails down his best test scores by the end of junior year, knowing how productive and relaxing the following summer and fall will be with that critical aspect of the college application taking care of. Our model student plans for late winter test date, knowing how stressful spring can be. He ideally prepares with experts and takes plenty of perfect practice tests. He arrives on test day rested, ready, and confident and then proceeds to maintain focus, energy, and enthusiasm to the very last question. Our hypothetical hero would probably leave the exam feeling really good about both the steps taken to ensure a strong test and his performance in the moment. Imagine, then, how crushed he and his fellow testers would feel months…

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