The SAT & the Tranquil Test-taker

The SAT is, to many students, the most stressful part of the college admissions process. An enigmatic behemoth of a test, spanning almost two hundred questions and nearly four hours, it’s no wonder that students are intimidated. And, while preparing for the test is essential, it’s just as important that students enter the test feeling relaxed and confident. Check out our tips and reminders for keeping your cool on the SAT:

1. Y’all come back now!

That’s right- this test isn’t a one shot deal. You should take the SAT two or three times (depending on the score policies of the colleges you’re applying to). So, calm down, and remember that you have another shot at this.

2. You’re ready for this.

You’ve prepared, drilled, and done practice tests. You have your examples for the essay established, and it only takes a glance at a math question to know you’ll be plugging in numbers. You know that ‘transient’ and ‘ephemeral’ both mean ‘temporary.’ You did your part preparing, and it’s time to show colleges.

3. Take a break!

Students who relax for the day or two before the SAT do better than those who spend the time fretting and cramming. Look forward to the SAT as a relaxing extended weekend of indulgence which is interrupted for only less than four hours.

4. Calm, cool, and comfy.

Make sure that on the day of the test, you’re as comfortable as possible. This means that you’re well rested, and your clothes were chosen for comfort, rather than fashion. While pajama pants may look a bit silly, losing points on the SAT because you spent all of your time squirming and plucking at the seams of your skinny jeans is far sillier.

5. Madam, we must have waffles! We must all have waffles forthwith!

Since we’re on the topic of comfort, you should eat a nutritious and delicious breakfast before the SAT. A rumbling tummy (as well as a stuffed, aching one) is a distraction that you shouldn’t need to deal with. While my personal choice of test food is waffles, other favorites include muffins, oatmeal, and the healthy and always popular cereal with a side of fruit.

6. Running on empty…

Test day isn’t a day to experiment, so if you’re used to coffee or tea, have your cup, but if you don’t drink caffeinated beverages in the morning, then keep it that way. And, speaking of energy, make sure that you have fresh batteries in your calculator. All that math prep you’ve been doing puts a real drain on those batteries.

7. Who would be crazy enough to value one test more than thousands?

And the answer is: Not colleges! Colleges and universities realize that the last four years of your academic career are a better indicator of your future success than one test, so your GPA and strength of curriculum (look out for a blog post on this topic) carry more weight than your SAT score at many schools. Furthermore, they also look at your extra-curriculars. So, remember, the SAT is just one aspect of your college application, so don’t sweat the test!

8. SAT: Simply A Test.

Remember, it’s just another test. You’ve taken hundreds of tests, and this one is no different.

Good luck!


If you need help on your SAT, ACT, or other tests, head over to to find out about our courses, tutoring, or free classes!

  • Alexis Avila

    Good Tips.

    Waffles? haha Lego my Eggo!

    Alexis Avila, Founder of Prepped & Polished, LLC

  • (646) 414-1586
COPYRIGHT ©2002 - 2020 BELL CURVES LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All tests names are registered trademarks of the respective testing companies, which do not endorse and are not affiliated with Bell Curves.
BELL CURVES - 25 West 36th Street, 8th Floor - New York, NY 10018 Bell Curves is an educational services and test preparation company. It delivers high-quality consulting services, test preparation programs, and self-study resources to students throughout the country.
Equal Opportunity Employer - Privacy Policy - Refund Policy