Why You Should Wear a Watch for the ACT/SAT

You should wear a watch to your SAT or ACT test session.

Flickr user Nom & Malc

When you’re heading in to take your ACT or SAT, you’re often told to bring certain items. They include registration documents, a permitted calculator, two pencils with erasers, photo identification, and a watch. It’s obvious why you need some of these items, but why a watch exactly? Here’s the reason you should add it to your “to bring” list the night before your ACT or SAT:

Pace Yourself

The most important reason to bring a watch to the ACT or SAT is to pace yourself. Although there will most likely be a clock in the testing area, it’s still a good idea to bring your own. There is a chance the clock won’t be easy to see from your seat, or there might not be one at all.

Pacing yourself is part of taking these exams. You’ll want to be sure you know how much time you have left for each section and are on track to complete the area on time. If you’re without a clock and left your watch at home, you could run into trouble.

You Used It While Practicing

During your practice exams or while studying, you most likely were used to having a clock or watch. You had it on hand to refer to during your practicing to ensure you were on task to finish the exam section in the allotted time. Going without if a clock isn’t available could hurt you since you relied on it previously.

Plan for Review Time

In addition to pacing yourself, once you’ve completed the SAT or ACT section, you’ll know how much time you have leftover to review the subject’s questions and your answers. If you’ve paced yourself correctly, you may have enough time to completely look over the entire section.

Without the watch, you may have rushed in order to complete the exam. You won’t know how much time is left and may make errors. On the other hand, if you didn’t pace yourself correctly, you may not have allotted yourself enough time to check your answers.

Items You Shouldn’t Bring

Not many of us wear watches every day anymore and instead use our phones to tell us the time. However, cell phones are not permitted in either the ACT or SAT. It’s important to either leave them at home or in your car or at least completely turned off and tucked away.

You should also not bring a watch that has an alarm to either exam. It is nice to have an alarm go off to help you keep pace. However, if it goes off during the ACT or SAT, you could be dismissed from the testing room. Your answers won’t be graded. Bring a very simple watch to either exam to avoid potential issues.

Although there will probably be a clock in the testing classroom, never assume. You could run into trouble if you practiced pacing during your studying for the ACT and SAT in the past few months. This is why it’s essential to bring a watch. However, always ensure that you’re following either exams’ rules on what is or isn’t allowed during the test.

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