2:24pm, October 3, 2013, Topics: SAT, College Board, Standardized Tests, test anxiety, test prep
Saturday, October 5th is SAT day for many college-bound teens. While most parents aren’t taking the test, many are sweating it out with their kids. As test day approaches, it’s normal, but not comfortable, for family tension to climb. Here are some simple strategies for maximizing success and keeping the peace this week.
1. Keep your parental anxiety in check.
Remember those pediatrician visits when some invasive procedure was required and you had to put on a brave face for your child? Do it again. Do not look at the test prep workbook and begin to hyperventilate. It won’t help the situation.
2. Have your student make a check list.
Saturday morning isn’t the time to be hunting down the calculator and an acceptable form of identification, so have your child plan ahead. Your teen will need a copy of his/her SAT admission ticket, number 2 pencils with erasers, photo id, and a calculator. Check the CollegeBoard.org for their list, calculator specifics, and additional suggestions. Note: Water and a small snack are always wise to have on hand.
3. Think about the location.
Not all students take the SAT at their high school. Make sure you and your teen are familiar with the venue and the parking options. (Weekend activities can clog parking lots and make a teen late if he/she is searching for a parking space.) Some counselors suggest that parents drive their teens to maximize a safe and timely arrival (and just plain arrival—because heading out for a caramel latte sounds a lot more fun than test taking).
4. Make it an early night.
If your family’s like mine (and the one depicted in my video) you might need to have a bit of a discussion about curfew. Friday night probably isn’t the best night for a sleepover or a late-night party. I’m not suggesting that it should be about flashcard drills, but a good night’s sleep can only help maximize test performance.
5. Plan to celebrate.
Do something special as a family once the test is over. Whether your teen is happy, nervous, or pleasantly surprised, a positive family experience (that doesn’t include excessive quizzing about test content) after the SAT can go a long way. Head out for a caramel latte and celebrate another milestone on the road to higher education.