Top Must-Dos the Night Before the ACT or SAT | Winward Academy


What to do the night before the ACT or SAT

Should you do a full timed practice test? Should you go to bed the second you get home from school?

These are some of the questions frequently on students’ minds as they try to do everything they can to be ready to go the morning of the big test.

First things first, make sure you have your stack of items ready to take with you…now what else should you do the night before a big exam?

tip 1: Review only

It’s a terrible idea to do a timed practice the night before the test. Allow yourself to trust your preparation and process. The night before, don’t try to learn anything new and don’t pressure yourself with timed practice. Do your best to relax and, at most, casually review notes on your key areas of focus.

tip 2: Do something relaxing

Think mindfulness. Tomorrow is game day and you should only do things that will make you relaxed and confident. Watch a movie, have a quiet dinner with friends or family, and just conserve your energy. A light workout is nice, but avoid anything too physically strenuous.

tip 3: Set your alarm (or two or three)

Aim for a relaxing morning and journey to the testing site. You don’t want to wake up, roll out of bed, and expect to be ready. Ideally, you should get up at least two hours before the test starts, so your brain will have plenty of time to wake up.

tip 4: Get some sleep

Plan to get a solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep, but don’t force something unnatural by going to bed at 6pm. If that’s not a natural bedtime for you, it’s probably not realistic. Just get to bed as early as you can realistically fall asleep and plan to be up early enough to take care of yourself in the morning and not be pinched for time. One other tip to mention is that sleep deprivation affects you 48 hours later, so if you want to be sharp on Saturday morning, your Thursday night sleep is important.

what else can you learn?

Do you feel more comfortable knowing what to do the night before the exam? Arm yourself with more knowledge of what to do months before, the day before, the morning of, and during and after the ACT or SAT.


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About Winward Academy – Winward Academy is one of the world’s leading innovators in the online education space, providing web-based academic support that enhances students’ knowledge, confidence, and competitiveness in middle and high school academics and in college applications. We help thousands of students every year by providing personalized, comprehensive ACT and SAT test preparation and extensive math curriculum support. The Winward Academy learning platform honors over 40 years of education and cognitive psychology research, incorporating proven techniques that promote effective learning.

Winward Academy’s unmatched reputation is wholly attributable to our students’ exceptional success and to the trust earned among students, parents, and schools around the world.

Jennifer Winward, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Winward is a renowned college instructor, a distinguished 20-year veteran of high school tutoring, and the founder and lead instructor of Winward Academy. She earned her Ph.D. specializing in adolescent brain development and adolescent learning. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude with highest distinction honors. Dr. Winward has been widely recognized for her academic success, published research, and philanthropic efforts with awards from the President of the United States, the California State Assembly, Rotary International, the Marin County School Administrator Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Science Foundation.

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