5 Test Day Tips to Maximize Your Score

The test is tomorrow; you have finished your test prep tutoring and you feel ready. What can you do now to really maximize your score?

1. Don't study. You've done a good job. You don't need to study tonight. Put the test prep book away, leave your homework for tomorrow or Sunday, and just relax. You got this.

2. Get some sleep. You want to aim for between 8-9 hours of sleep. Hopefully, you've been doing this all week, but it is especially important tonight. That means you get everything you need for tomorrow ready this afternoon, and tonight you relax and get to bed early. Try to turn off all technology (no checking Facebook in bed!) at least one hour before bedtime. This will help you get to sleep when you need to.

3. Plan a good breakfast. No cereal, no muffins, no bagels, no doughnuts! Your breakfast in the morning should be slow-releasing carbs, like real oatmeal (not the sugar-filled packets, but real oatmeal with fresh or dried fruit in it), or protein, like eggs or Greek yogurt. Some people can run a marathon in four hours; you're going to take a standardized test in four hours. Fuel your body in the same way. You need to give long-lasting fuel to your body to sustain it for the long haul.

4. Bring appropriate snacks. I suggest a banana and a PowerBar. The PowerBar provides you with the protein to pick up where your breakfast may have left off. And the banana....well, I read a study once that said bananas are a "brain food" and that students performed better on standardized tests after eating a banana. I don't know if this is true, but somebody spent time and money studying it....so it's worth a shot, right?

5. Plan all this RIGHT NOW. You don't want to wake up in the morning and find that you only have Cocoa Puffs in the house. Figure out what you are going to have for breakfast tomorrow and what you will bring for a snack. Then go to the store right now and buy it. Likewise for all the other preparation you need to do for the morning. Print your admission ticket right now. You don't want a jammed printer making you late in the morning. Change the batteries in your calculator right now. You don't want a dead calculator during your test. (I have had this happen to a student.) Can you remember the last time you changed the batteries? Then change them right now. Make sure you know where your test center is and how to get there. Map it out right now. Tonight you want to relax and get to sleep and tomorrow morning you want to get off to a flawless and stress-free start. So plan ahead, and do it right now.

GOOD LUCK TOMORROW!!! And if you don't do as well as you'd like, you can always come to me for help.