For Juniors: The Night Before The SATs

Hey Class of 2020 - all ready for the SATs next Tuesday? This  email contains my annual pep talk and some suggestions for how to conduct yourselves Monday night before the test!

(Note bene: this email is intended for juniors in the great State O’ Maine who are doing mandatory in-school SAT testing on April 9th. For those of you who don’t live in Maine (or one of the other states which do mandatory in-school testing) tuck this puppy away and read it just prior to your taking the test on May 4th*** or June 1st, which is when all other college bound high school juniors should plan on taking the test).

***THE DEADLINE FOR SIGNING UP FOR THE MAY 4 SAT AND/OR SUBJECT TESTS IS THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 5TH. IF YOU’RE TAKING SUBJECT TESTS (OR THE SAT FOR THE FIRST TIME) ON MAY 4, GO TO COLLEGEBOARD.ORG AND REGISTER.***

Hopefully you've done a modicum (good SAT vocab word, that - look it up!) of prepping for the test using Kahn Academy. Now don't panic if you haven't - I know many folks who enjoy nothing more than to tell me how they've ignored my sage advice and they scored just fine without my 'system' - but whether you have or have not prepped, listen up.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT stay up Monday night thinking you're gonna cram in all the prepping that you feel guilty about not having done before. Ferget it. Don't do it. Shouldn't happen.

See, think of your brain as a muscle, and while you want it to be properly "warmed up", you don't want it put in extensive overdrive just before the big event. Instead, you want just the opposite - in swimming we call it "tapering" before a big race, whereby we ease off on our workouts and downright relax just before the event.

So take it from the college guy - here's whatcha wanna do Monday:

Have a good day. Don't get excited.

Find a comedy to stream with Seth Rogen in it (or a similarly inane and light-weight laugher).

Have a good dinner and dial up that show, thereby clearing your brain of all things SAT-related.

Go to bed at your normal school night time (UNLESS your school night bed time is after 11:00 PM, in which case tell your folks I wanna talk to them!)

Rise and shine with plenty of time to get to school at your normal time. Eat breakfast - no backtalk about it. Make sure you check your calculator’s battery and bring pencils with good erasers on ‘em.

Bring plenty of Power Bars, or granola bars, or Cliff Bars, or whatever snacky-health-and-brain food quick energy bar you prefer. Bananas work too.

And remember, relax. This is just a test. Just a pain in the butt, horribly over-emphasized, deeply flawed (can I get an AMEN?!!!) test. You'll have another chance (two!) to retake it next fall; and some of you will take the ACT as well, which will give you another chance to score points and impress colleges. Try not to let anxiety affect your performance. 

Take a deep breath, and repeat after me: 

"I'm smart and I know it, and this test is a woefully inadequate measure of everything other than my ability to take arcane, pressurized, timed exams!" 

Go ahead, say it. 

Again. 

Got it? 

Good! 

Good luck!

Gary

P.S. Here’s a few things to give you a chuckle:

http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/a17080 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/72128031506920602/

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/the-new-and-improved-sat

-- 
Gary L. Canter
College Placement Services
210 St. John Street
Portland, Maine 04102
(207) 772-9711 
www.collegeplacementservices.org

College Placement Services provides high school students and their families assistance with all aspects of the college search, selection, application and financial aid process.

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