The Best Last-Minute SAT Study Tips

March 02, 2016

After weeks and weeks of studying, the SAT is finally here. The long nights and weekends you spent working with tutors, studying on your own, and convincing your parents that you’ve done your SAT prep homework are coming to an end (hopefully). And while the New SAT has made waves throughout the college admissions world, the foundation is still the same: a long exam. With the test creeping up quickly, what can you do to prepare during the few days leading up to the test?

Sleep. Yes, seriously. You might think that studying a ton and staying up late will help you learn more, but that’s not always the case. By sleeping and getting more rest, you’re allowing your body to recover from the mental stimulation you go through on a daily basis. Surprisingly, you’ll learn better and retain more information by resting. While cramming the night before might help some students, it’s not the best strategy.

Eat healthy meals. And I’m not talking about a Chewy bar for breakfast on the morning of the test. Waking up 30 minutes earlier so you can get a solid breakfast in can help give you the energy to last the full length of the exam. The SAT isn’t short, especially considering you’re sitting at a desk, straining your brain for a few hours at a time.

Move it (and a bonus tip). Studies show a bunch of helpful information. And in this case, getting up and moving around while studying can actually help you digest the information more. Studying for math today at your desk? Study math tomorrow at the kitchen table. And the next day at Starbucks. Even if you’re sitting on the toilet, a new environment will force your body to focus on the information and not rely on your surroundings for clues.

*Bonus: Sitting in the same seat everyday in class can actually help you retain information. If you sit in the back row during Econ every single time, make sure to sit in that same seat while you take exams. Studies actually have shown that you’ll remember more if you’re accustomed to what’s around you. See that crack on the wall? You might have been looking at it when the teacher was explaining supply and demand. Even a small glance during your exam might help you remember.

*Extra Bonus: Don’t study in bed. Your brain naturally associates bed with sleep, so you’ll probably wind up tired, not focused, or possibly passed out, drooling on your notebook. Yes, I know I said you should sleep - but probably not best in the middle of a study session.

Study Confidently. It’s normal to focus on the things you’re not so great at. But don’t neglect your strengths. Sometimes, studying what you’re good at can build positive momentum and can help you feel good about the material you’re not so great at. And while you still might get questions wrong, you’ll simply feel better about yourself, and will be more willing to put in the effort to get the questions right.

So what’s next? Focus on the SAT now. Next, you can come up with your list of colleges and focus on where you want to go. If you haven’t yet, you can use AdmitSee’s search to find students with similar grades and test scores as you to find out where they applied and were accepted.

Sources: TimeGreatlist, SUNY, The New York Times, Peterson’s, The Guardian.

About The Author

Drew Evans
Drew Evans

​Drew is a content and social media guru. When he’s not working, he loves to photograph, play music, play sports, and travel. He is also weirdly obsessed with Thai food, Girl Scout cookies, and learning new languages (even though he’s not fluent in any). For any editorial ideas, contact info@admitsee.com.




Browse Successful Application Files

welcometohel
Rice ‘18


Accepted to UNC, Amherst, Northwestern, Case, Illinois, Wisconsin, Miami, Rice

I'm super cool and you should come to Rice
brianlin
WashU ‘20


Accepted to WashU, CMU, GA Tech, UGA

Aspiring Communication Design and Computer Science student, food lover extraordinaire
BrownDomer
Notre Dame ‘20


Accepted to BU, Emory, Swarthmore, Notre Dame

Hello! I'm an international student from Ethiopia and I'll be majoring in Biology. I'd love to share all the tips and tricks I've learned from my rather unique college application experience with you!
ayinUChicago
UChicago ‘18


Accepted to Duke, Brown, NYU, UChicago, UNC, East Carolina, NC State

I'm a class of 2018'er at UChicago studying Economics and Psychology! Super interested in start-ups and economics.

New Posts

7 Types of Second Semester Seniors
7 Types of Second Semester Seniors
April 23, 2018

If you’re a high school senior right now, you’ll know all about Senioritis. (Unless you’re #7.)Standardized tests, college application essays, FAFSA forms… senior fall is no fun. Thankfully, you’re (almost) finally...

10 Things You'll Probably Need in College
10 Things You’ll Probably Need in College
April 19, 2018

Not sure what you need in college? We got your back. We hope you love the products listed here! Just FYI, AdmitSee may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.1. Bedside...

The College Application Experience: What I'd Change
The College Application Experience: What I’d Change
April 16, 2018

Experiencing the college application process firsthand gives someone a lot of valuable insight that future applicants could really benefit from. The incoming college class of 2022 students shared some advice with us on how they would...

Load More Posts