What Your Week Before the SAT or ACT Test Days Should Look Like

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The week before any test is important. The ACT and SAT can amplify the stress of testing though, so your preparation is key. Here are a few things to do in the days leading up to your test.


I cannot emphasize enough how important good rest is. This is a week you don’t want to be up late. You should be getting a proper amount of sleep at least the two nights before the test, but it’s going to be better for you if you have a week of it. Remember, it’s better to get sleep instead of staying up an extra hour or two to study.


This week should be about reviewing material you’ve already learned. For most people, this week marks the point of no return: If you haven’t learned something by now, there’s not much chance of remembering it well on the test. Instead, focus on what you do know. Go over notes. Review the essay prompt. Get your number 2 pencils ready.

Eat well

Good brain food is essential this week. You’ll want food that will give you consistent energy (those testing days are long). Stay away from things that make you super jittery, or only give you temporary energy.

Set yourself up for the testing environment

This one might seem a little strange at first. What I mean is that you should replicate the testing environment you’ll be in as you review your material. Studies have shown that information is better retained if the learning/studying conditions are the same as the testing conditions. For example, college students do better on exams if the exam time is the same time and day that the class usually is. So this week, try studying without music or TV in the background. You probably won’t be allowed any food or drink in the testing room, so study without those as well. Work in the same time increments the test portions have.

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