What can you expect on SAT exam day? complete guide (2023)

What can you expect on SAT exam day? complete guide (1)

What final steps can you take to feel ready as test day approaches? This guide describes exactly what happens on the day you take the SAT, so there will be no surprises.

Read on to find out what will be happening at your test center and to discuss what materials to bring with you. Finally, we'll discuss some strategies you can use to deal with your nervousness and feel confident while taking the SAT.

To begin with, let's discuss what happens when you arrive at the test center to take the SAT.

SAT test day: arrival

What can you expect between arriving at the test center and starting your first section? First, go to the test center - most likely the school -between 7:30 AM and 7:45 AMThe doors will open at 7:45. and will end at 8:00 am. unless otherwise indicated on the ticket. A locked door means there is no more entry, so being late is not an option.

Upon entering the school or testing center, you are likely to be met by several assistants who register individuals and direct students to the testing rooms. You goshow your ticket and ID and find your test room.You may need to store your wallet or jacket in a closet or other designated place. other test centers just let you put your stuff under the table.

Once everyone has checked in and taken their seats, the test taker will hand out test materials such as the SAT booklet and answer sheet and begin giving instructions. you will spend some timesupplementing identification datasuch as your name and contact information, and to listen to instructions on when and how to complete your answer sheet.

Depending on how long it takes for everyone to settle in, all of the foreplay will go onabout 30 minutes to an hour.Getting to the test room will probably be the easiest part of a rough morning, but is there anything else you can do to ensure a smooth start to your day?

arrival advice

Perhaps the most important thing you can do on this Saturday morning isArrived on time.Arrive at the test center between 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 she's perfect. Much earlier and you can afford to sit in the parking lot. Later, you will be late or, in the worst case, you will miss the test completely and you will have toreagents.

So how to ensure early arrival? First, set your alarm early enough to give yourself time to get ready (and actually wake up when it rings instead of playing chicken with the snooze button). Second,find out how long it takes to get to the exam centerand what is the situation on the roads around 7:00 am Let's hope that it will be calm on Saturday morning.

And third,make sure you are confident navigatingboth in terms of getting to the test center and moving around the building. Again, this should be easy for most students as they will be taking the exam at the local high school. However, if you are going to an unfamiliar place, you can go for a test drive a few days beforehand. Getting lost on a Saturday morning is not a nightmare you want to experience!

In addition to making sure you get from point A (your home) to point B (your office for the next 3-4 hours) without any problems, you also want to make sure thatlisten to all instructions from your inspector.Fill out the answer sheet correctly so that there are no delays in the results. Do not open the test booklet until asked to do so. And of course make sure your cell phone is turned on and off completely.

Once everyone's sat down and done the first round of instructions, it's time for the main function:taking the SAT exam. What can you expect in the next few hours?

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The day of bubble wrap has finally arrived.

SAT Day: Taking the test

You're finally ready for the main event - reallytaking the SAT exam. There is no exact start time for the test. Instead, it depends on how long it takes for each of them to adapt and your inspector will receive an update. That is, studentsstart your first class between 8:30 and 9:00.To keep things simple, you can expect testing to start at 8:45am.

Your inspector should he guides you in everythingfrom when to open your test book to when to put away your pencils. Most inspectors also give a five or ten minute warning, usually written on a board, when the section is almost over. Once you start the test, you'll practically concentrate on the next three or four hours of typing, with a few short breaks between certain sections. Here is the exact structure you can expect:

  • Start with the 65-minute reading section.You will receive five passages with a total of 52 questions.
  • To takeshort breakfrom 10 minutes. You can stretch, drink water, eat a snack and use the restroom. You cannot use this time to check your mobile phone or charge any electronic device.
  • Sit down and get to workA 35-minute writing and language unit.
  • After writing, the examiner will give you instructions on how to proceedA 25-minute math section without a calculator.
  • At the end of Math No Calculator you will havesecond shorter breakfive minutes. At the end of this break, grab a calculator and move on to the next section.
  • Start working on yours55-minute math lesson.You can use the calculator in this section.

At this point, you test for three hours. It will be between 11:40 and 12:10. If you're not participating in the writing, then yeseverything ended with the SAT exam!You'll wait for your supervisor to pick up your test book(s) and when instructed to do so, you'll be free to go.

If you take itwriting department,then you'll have a very short two-minute break and then start a 50-minute segment. After this time, you will take the test.

Tips for taking the test

Assuming you've already taken the time to prepare for the SAT, there are a few other things you can do while taking the SAT to make the most of it. Simplyknowledge of its exact structure and formfor example, it will limit any surprises and help you learn to manage your time. You should listen to the inspector's instructions, but ideally it will just be a repetition of everything you already know.

Make sure you only work in the designated section idon't read the book.The University Council is very strict in its guidelines. If the inspector sees you moving, your score may be canceled entirely. I once worked with a student who turned pages and canceled her grades as a result. Since the college board doesn't respond very well to their communication, she didn't know that her test was canceled a few months ago! Don't let this happen to you.

Another way to get the most out of your experience while solving a test isenjoy moments of rest.Even though they are short, they are a valuable opportunity to get up, move and refresh. Just looking and moving will reduce eye strain and improve blood flow. Remember to stay hydrated and eat a healthy snack to fuel all your mental exercise. Also remember to use one of the first two breaks in case you need to use the toilet - you will not be able to leave the room between the second mathematical part and the report.

Finally, make sureknow your rightsand speak up if your test center doesn't honor them. You are entitled to a quiet place to test and two breaks (or three to write).If problems arise or you are not rested, HE SAYS!The purpose of the SAT is to compare students on an equal footing, so the conditions of the exam must be fair in all respects.

Once you've mastered the hard part of the SAT exam,how will the test day end?

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It's almost time to celebrate...

SAT day: end

The completion time depends on whether or not you are taking the written portion of the SAT. If not, at some point you'll be done in three hours.between 11:40 and 12:10You will wait until the inspector collects all the materials and then you will be able to leave the room freely.

If you do the 50-minute part of the typing, you'll have a little break after math, and that's itit all ended around 1pm.As with students who have already left, you will close the test book and wait for the coach to collect everything. Once you get the green light, you can leave the test center, turn your phone back on and go home or go out for ice cream. your final step? We celebrate the fact that you have completed the SAT!

tips on how to finish

There are a few things to keep in mind when finishing the test. First,do not leave until instructed.The University Council strictly respects the confidentiality of tests, so you do not want to run into any problems. Make sure your supervisor has collected all your test supplies and let everyone know it's time to leave.

Similarly, you should not immediately start talking about the test with your friends. The College Board prohibits discussion of exam questions andmay cancel your score if it discovers that you have asked certain questions in person or online.These confidentiality guidelines are another reason why you should not turn on your mobile phone before leaving the test center.

If you are not participating in the writing section, be sure to do sorespect students who are still on probation.Gather all your belongings quietly and leave the test center before celebrating the completion of the race.

When you're finally done, congratulate yourself for all your hard work! You have toget your score onlinein about three weeks.

Now that you know exactly what the morning of the test will look like, let's get down to business.go back to the days and weeks before the test.For starters, what materials should I bring to the SAT?

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Pockets are your friend on SAT day.

What should I bring to the SAT exam?

There are some basic things you must havebring on sat(hello, ticket), as well as a few other items that can enhance your testing experience. Here are the most important ingredients:printed admission ticket, acceptable photo ID, #2 pencil, calculator and eraser.

Also, take it with youa drink and some energy-boosting snacks.Some people like to carry a watch with them to keep track of the time, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as there is no way to know if it will exactly match the watch the inspector will be using. If it helps, go ahead. if it bothers you, leave it at home.

You might want to bring something at the endbag that will help you keep everything in order.It would be nice to know exactly where your calculator is instead of digging through a black hole in your wallet (my life story) for the things you need. Apart from organizing your suitcase, what else can you do to prepare everything you need for the SAT exam?

Pack your bag the night before

Arriving at 7:45 AM, you'll be up early on Saturday. I highly recommend leaving everything packed and ready to leave the night before. make sureprint at least one copy of your ticketBetter yet, two, just in case. Apparently the printers have a built-in self-destruct feature if you try to use them before an important deadline, so don't wait to print your ticket at the last minute.

Calculators can also be unpredictable scams, so make sure yours isfully functional with new batterywith hours of life ahead. You can even take a spare battery with you. You have to put yourscalculatorin an easily accessible place, between the "No Calculator" and "Kalkulator" mathematical modules.

When it comes to drinks and snacks, choose something healthy and balanced, such as a mix of nuts and fruit, rather than something that will only give you an energy boost and then a crash. I think sowhole grains and proteininstead of sugar. In fact, your brain uses a lot of energy answering all the grammar and math questions. fuel as in training.

Despite everything,do not bring any prohibited technology or anything that makes sounds.When entering the test center, make sure your mobile phone is turned off and out of sight. Apart from packing your suitcase with everything you need the day before, what else can you do to feel betterprepared for the SAT exam?

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How do I get to the right place for exam day?

How to feel confident on SAT day

Everyone gets nervous when they take the SAT. It's an important test day, and you've probably spent weeks, if not months, waiting. While a bit of adrenaline can really help you focus and perform well,too much stress can distract youtasks to do - and be unpleasant.

So how do you achieve that perfect focus, but at the same time stay in control, be aware of the high stakes, and make sure you reach your goals? read onsome tips on how to stay in controlso you can come to the SAT exam in a good mood.

The day before, allow yourself to relax

Instead of spending the day before the SAT in an all-day study session, give yourself a breakgive a breakand take it easy. You can spend an hour or two going over these tricky last-minute concepts and strategies, but if not, you should do itbelieve that you have done everything you could at this point to prepare yourself.

Instead of studying too much, use the day before to let the work you've done sink into your consciousness. spend your timetaking care of yourself through activities that make you happysuch as spending time in nature, keeping a journal, listening to music, reading inspirational quotes or spending time with friends (just don't take it too long!). To chooseactivities that bring you peacebut also those that reduce stress - e.g. exercise.

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Funny fact: "power position“For two minutes you can change your body chemistry and increase your confidence. So try to train Wonder Woman before the SAT!

Set up an exercise plan

It is a well-known fact thatexercise reduces stressand increases mental clarity. If you don't already have a physical outlet, prioritize finding one that works for you, whether it's sports, walking, running, weightlifting, swimming or yoga. Exercising for just half an hour, about three to five times a week, can significantly reduce stress.

While exercise won't completely eliminate pre-exam anxiety, it will help reduce it, especially if you're prone to pre-exam anxiety. In addition, meeting your fitness goals can further boost your confidence to overcome challenges. Even if you're busy studying for the SAT and school,taking the time to take care of your physical health will only improve your mental game.Exercising can also help you sleep better, which is a helpful side effect before taking your morning test.

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Research has shown that "blue light"It's great during the day, but terrible for sleep. Turn off the lights and goshowsbefore bedtime to improve sleep quality.

Make sleep a priority

Adequate sleep is always important for our well-being, especially before an intense SAT. Try the night beforeGo to bed early.This means actually turning off the lights and trying to fall asleep, instead of inadvertently adding an extra three hours of bedtime to your mobile phone and laptop.

Of course, worrying about the SAT can make such a good night's sleep difficult. If you have a throwback night, you can do well on the test and then just fail. However, you canestablish the conditions for a good night's sleepwalking in a quiet neighborhood on a Friday night. Put down your cell phone, make some herbal tea, or even try turning off all sourcesblue light“In your room to sleep and wake up refreshed for your morning alarm clock.

Resist the snooze button

What's almost as stressful as the SAT? You run quite late in the morning when you need to be in an important place. As discussed above, youI can't be late for the SATbecause the door will be locked for you at 8am.

Just as printing your ticket and packing your luggage the day before will help you have a quiet morning, so will itleaving plenty of time to get ready in the morning.You can leave a list of everything you need to do, which will hopefully be a short list of getting dressed, brushing your teeth, and remembering your pencil case and snacks.

Don't be tempted by the snooze button. just get up as soon as possible after the first alarm goes off. Thanks to this, you will also have time for the most important meal of the day.

What can you expect on SAT exam day? complete guide (8)Eat a banana for breakfast or a snack on SAT day. Studies show that bananas are not only delicious, they also make peoplehappier!

Eat a nutritious breakfast

Exercise and sleep have a big impact on your mood and emotions, as do the food you eat. Processed, sugary foods like muffins and tons of cereal can give you an energy boost and leave you feeling lethargic and hungry.. Protein products and whole grainsis a safer choice - eggs, wholegrain toast, oatmeal, vegetables and fruits are all good choices.

If you just don't feel hungry at this early hour, I advise you to try to eat something or at least take the right amount with you.snacks to top up during test breaks.You don't want to be distracted by a rumbling tummy or, as discussed in the next section, an itchy wool sweater.

Wear comfortable clothes and layers

Another way to stay fit is to wear comfortable clothes and be prepared for fluctuating temperatures in the classroom. Behindwearing layersyou can prepare yourself for a very hot or very cold environment. Wear clothes that are comfortable - you'll be sitting at a desk for three to four hours - and that make you feel confident.

All of the above issues - physical activity, sleep, breakfast, clothes - will help you take care of your physical condition, and indirectly also your mental and emotional state. You can also use mental strategies to boost your confidence and reduce anxiety before the test. For example, do not underestimatethe power of "positive self-talk".

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Think positive!

Identify negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones

If you think of the SAT as a terrible test that will decide your future or ruin your entire future, it's only logical that worry and anxiety will immediately follow. Our thoughts and feelings are inextricably linked. Even if we are not aware of the worry, we may still feel a nagging sense of anxiety because that worry sits at the back of our mind.

If you're stuck with negative thoughts about being a bad or slow candidate, those worries can act as self-fulfilling prophecies. But if you cantransform your negative thoughts into a more positive and productive way,then you will be able to feel and perform even better as a result!

Instead of thinkingtime is running out in the math sectionfor example, think about how your preparation has helped you improve. Instead of assuming that one is missingreading questionmeans you've read the entire section, consider how follow-up questions give you a chance to improve your scores. If you can identify the thoughts that cause you anxiety, you may be able to do sochange unhelpful thought patternsand consequently your feelings about taking the SAT exam.

Let your inner dialogue soundwords of encouragement you can give your best friend.The kind and uplifting things you say to him are the same conversations you should be having yourself. Thinking positively can help you feel better, and feeling better can help you do better on the SAT.

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Be a tree! Adopt your constructive attitude.

Adopt a growth mindset

Similarly, adopting a "constructive mindset" (as Carol Dweck calls itAttitude: a new psychology of success) while preparing for the SAT can help you maximize your progress. Instead of seeing your skills as fixed and therefore unchanging, you couldembrace the idea that you can constantly learn and grow through effort and perseverance.

You may not have understood quadratic equations when you first started preparing them, but now you do. maybe you keptSAT reading time is running out, but after experimenting with skimming strategies and doing a lot of practice tests, you work much faster and more efficiently. Behindbelieve you can improve and use failure as a learning opportunity, instead of being a dead end, you can constantly develop and work towards your goals.

This constructive attitude will help you if you encounter a difficult question or section, or even if you make a decisionrepeat the satthe second or third time. Ultimately, you can really achieve your SAT goals as well as other academic and personal goalsbelieving that you can and continue to do your best, persevere and prepare.

What's next?

Now you know what to expect on test day, but do you know the exact structure of the test itself?Check out this guidestart and end times for each SAT section, along with the number of passages and questions you can expect in each one.

Have you already registered for your test?These guides will help youchoose the best test datesand find outhow often you should take the SAT examto achieve the desired results.

Are you interested in strategies for reducing stress and clearing your mind?Check outour article on mindfulnessand how this practice can help improve focus and well-being.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points?We've written a guide to the top five strategies you should use to improve your score. Download now for free:

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Rebecca Shafie

about the author

Rebecca completed her Masters in Youth Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has many years of experience teaching and advising at universities and has a passion for helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. He graduated with honors from Tufts University and scored 99th percentile on the SAT.

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