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Test Prep Long Game Strategies

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

What do reading, exercising, and brushing your teeth have in common?  They should all be part of your “long game” strategy in preparing for the SAT/ACT.  Pick one of these or challenge yourself to achieve all three!

Reading – One of the best ways to prepare for the SAT/ACT Reading Test is to read material that closely mimics the passages on the tests.  This is something you can incorporate into your daily routine months before you take the test – and you just might enjoy it😊.  Some recommended materials include: short stories from 18th/19th century authors, The New York Times (or other national newspapers), American Scientific, The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, and National Geographic.  You will stretch your brain and adapt to different formats, vocabulary, and complex ideas.   

Exercising – A vast pool of evidence supports the idea that physical exercise helps to improve mental sharpness, increase focus, and support a good night’s sleep.  All three of these are essential during your test prep – months and weeks ahead of the test all the way to test day. If you adopt a regular exercise routine to get your heart rate up, you will appreciate the mental and physical benefits.  Try running before a big test to see if it improves your concentration. Before leaving for school, run up and down the stairs 10 times on the day you have a big presentation. It really works!!

Brushing Your Teeth – This is a strange one – I know!  You all brush your teeth twice a day, and your dentist will tell you that you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes.  Rather than spend those two minutes zoning out, why not make a game out of it. In the morning, run through your multiplication and division tables; at night, step up the challenge and do some square roots, list prime numbers to 50, recall the Pythagorean triples (3-4-5, 5-12-13, 6-8-10…), and the list goes on.  Create a list of mental math exercises and check them off – two minutes by two minutes…or ask us, and we’ll give you a list. It’s simple and it’s fantastic brain food!

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