Flickr user Ginny

Time is everything on the ACT & SAT. You have precious little of it, so the thought of double-checking a few things may seem like a small priority—but that mindset can lead to mistakes and a lower score than you deserve.

Instead, use time wisely by ensuring everything is as right as it can be. Double-check these important things before moving on.

Double-Check: Personal Information is Correct

Small mistakes can cost you big time. As elementary as it may seem, double check you’ve filled out everything correctly—name, date, school number, etc. You don’t want your scantron being misfiled or lost, after all.

Double-Check: The Question and Answer Numbers Match Up

It can be easy to get off by a row, especially if you skip some questions to answer later. Ensure you’re bubbling the row that matches up with the test booklet’s question number. There’s nothing worse than realizing you’re mismatched and have been for the past ten questions. Erasing and going back only wastes time, so make sure you’ve got it right the first time around.

Double-Check: You’re Bubbling in the Correct Answer

Now this doesn’t mean the “letter that properly answers the question asked” (although that’s ideal). If you think the answer is B, make sure you’re filling in B and not C. Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but as you’re speeding through passages and answers in an attempt to finish before time’s up, simple mistakes can be made.

Double-Check: You’ve Read the Question Correctly 

To get the right answer, you have to know the right question. It never hurts to re-read the prompt just to make sure you’ve got the right things in mind. Sometimes questions can be tricky, asking “Which of the following is not true” instead of “Which of the following is false” or even “Which of the following is NOT true.”

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