Many students and parents wonder how best to prepare in the last few weeks before the official test date. MEK Review is here to give you some quick do’s and don’ts.
One note before we start, though. These tips are meant for students who already have been consistently preparing for the exam. If you are just starting your test prep two weeks before the test, you should highly consider changing your test date.
#1. DO up your intensity!
Now is not the time to take your foot off the gas and relax. Keep attending test prep classes, asking questions, studying at home, and practicing.
Set up a study schedule for the last two weeks, so you can review previous materials as well as complete new materials.
Also, so much of achieving a high score on SAT is about mindset. You need to use these two weeks to get yourself into that highly focused mindset that will help you slay the SAT.
#2. DON’T do needless practice!
Yes, you want to keep practicing and studying. But no, you do not need to do 100 problems a day. Or take a new practice test every day. Or memorize 300 new vocabulary words.
This is more likely to stress you out and overload you with information you don’t need.
Instead, maintain consistent and reflective practice. That means you are not just going through the motions, but rather thoughtfully completing practice materials and then reflecting on your wrong answers and thinking critically about the mistakes you made.
Remember you don’t stop making careless mistakes by simply practicing more problems. That’s a good way to make bad habits permanent.
You stop making careless mistakes by reflecting on why you made the mistake in the first place and then building a habit into your test-taking routine that makes it impossible to make that mistake again.
#3. DO focus on comprehensive studying.
The last two weeks is the time to focus on everything. Are you strong on the math section but weak on the reading section? You still have to study math.
Remember what we said about mindset. The test is three and half hours, more if you are completing the essay. You have to be mentally prepared to do well on every aspect of the test, all 154 questions.
Just because you got a question right in the past is no guarantee for the future.
#4. DON’T just focus on your weaknesses.
Yes, this is basically the same advice as above. But that’s how important it is.
Many students, as they come up on the test, want to just drill their weaknesses: I’m going to complete 100 math questions that deal with quadrilaterals. Or I’m going to just practice with Narrative passages for the reading section.
This is a mistake.
Not only will solely focusing on your weaknesses mean you miss out on shoring up your perceived strengths, but it also gives you a false sense of security about your weaknesses.
Practicing certain problems or sections in isolation DOES NOT mimic the format of the test, and therefore is not a good indicator for how you’ll perform on these sections during an actual full-length test.
Ultimately, the last two weeks is the home stretch of test prep. Keep focused and disciplined, while also giving yourself some time to decompress and de-stress, and you’ll go into the test feeling confident and ready.