The Legend

The Student News Site of Austin Preparatory School

The Legend

The Legend

The Student News Site of Austin Preparatory School

The Student News Site of Austin Preparatory School

The Legend

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What to Do in the Final Days Before the SAT and ACT for Juniors

What+to+Do+in+the+Final+Days+Before+the+SAT+and+ACT+for+Juniors

As of today, Austin Prep’s Juniors have completed the SAT and have eight days left until the ACT. While this may be a daunting time for many, it is important to remember that your scores do not define you and that most colleges look at your application holistically. Additionally, your performance on one test does not necessarily determine your score on the other. Nevertheless, the truth is that many colleges and universities are returning to pre-Covid policies that will require tests within the next couple of years, so now is the best time to do anything you can to maximize your success if you are applying to competitive schools. Below is a list of tips to help during this stressful time.

Take practice exams as often as you can. This may be a little more difficult for practicing the ACT, which is printed out and self-graded; however, the Digital SAT now offers infinite practice for free on the Bluebook app. For either test, apply not only your knowledge of the material you learned during College Prep but also strategies for time management, elimination, and guessing (you will probably have to guess at some point). I improved on the SAT Math when I completed the free response questions first and then the quicker multiple choice ones after that. After you practice, review all your incorrect answers and figure out why they were wrong. Trap answers might be from a careless mistake or misreading, but the others often profit from guessing or doing only part of the problem. Finally, remember that you will have to time the SAT and ACT differently. Figure out what works best for you before test day.

Know what materials you need (and don’t need) for test day. Make sure to have a calculator, water bottle, snack, photo ID (for tests outside of AP), charged and updated laptop (SAT), and #2 non-mechanical pencils (ACT). Also, make sure you power down your cell phone, and bring a non-smart watch if you want to track the time without looking at the clock. You don’t want to spend so much time preparing and studying just to be unprepared, turned away, or disqualified.

Nourish your mind and body. No amount of studying will get you the score you want if your brain can’t recall the information. Make it a habit to get a reasonable amount of sleep and eat breakfast in the days before your exams. Spacing out your practice will give the information time to lock in without sacrificing your sleep, and eating a healthy breakfast that will keep you full throughout the test will make you think more clearly. Also, make sure to be careful with your choice of caffeine if you’re anything like me; matcha or black tea might be a better idea than Celsius or iced coffee. 

And, last but not least…

Believe in yourself! Confidence is different from cockiness. Knowing that you’ve done everything you can do will make you feel better on test day. Remember, there is no shame in taking the tests multiple times, so don’t pressure yourself too much!

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About the Contributor
Isabella Fountain '25
Isabella Fountain is a junior at Austin Prep. This is her second year writing for the Legend and Austin Authors, and her third year as an Austin Prep student. She enjoys making creative writing pieces as well as articles about Student Life and events on campus, but she’ll write about pretty much anything. Her favorite book is Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman, a post-apocalyptic novel following a group of teenagers facing an extreme water shortage in Southern California.

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