What To Expect While Taking The SAT

I’ve taken the SAT test twice now, just because I can. And my experience has been different both times. So, wether you’re taking the test for the first time or you just want to see someone else’s experience, please enjoy (also, this is for the SAT with/without Essay. I’ve never taken the subject test SAT so you’re alone on that one. Good luck). 

Before you head out to your SAT test, here are some things that you will definitely need. 

-An Approved Calculator AKA Texas Instrument Calculator (if you can manage it. More on this later) 

-Admission Ticket

-Student ID

-Two Number Two Pencils (no pens or mechanical pencils allowed. The teachers will check and they will take up your pen/mechanical pencil.)

-If you get nervous or thirsty during tests, bring a small water bottle. 

-If you think you will get hungry during the break, bring a pack of gummies or a stick of beef jerky. Don’t bring anything that’s noisy or messy because trust me, you’ll regret it. More on the breaks later.

-If you simply cannot hold all of the stuff you plan on bringing, bring a small bag. 

Alright, you’re all set! Time to hit the road! Just remember that there’s nothing you can do now to study and worrying about it will make your head explode. Just calm down and put on some relaxing music on your drive over to the building your taking your test in. It’s fine to be nervous, everyone is. Act like you know what you’re doing and no one will question it. 

So when you get there most of the students will stay in their cars until one brave student walks up to the doors. Or the parents drop the students off and their forced to wait awkwardly around and make their way slowly to the door while everyone watches them. So, the teachers open the doors and you wait in a line to show your Student ID and SAT Admission Ticket. Make sure to have them out, because while the teachers might be patient, the students behind you won’t be. The teacher might ask you if you’re doing the SAT with the Essay or the SAT subject test or just the plain old SAT. Respond accordingly and if you don’t know, just try to describe what you think you’re taking. Also, it should say on your paper. So, the teacher will direct you to a certain room and write the room number on your Ticket. If you’re lucky, they’ll point you in the right direction. While you’re traveling down the hallways, make sure you spy where the bathroom is, because you will definitely need to go. There should be a teacher at the door, waiting for you. If their not at the door, then they’ll be at their desk. Keep in mind that just because the teacher is in a certain room, that doesn’t mean that it’s their classroom. A lot of teachers feel as foreign as you do when in that classroom so don’t sweat it. And if you happen to be in your own school in a classroom that you’ve been in many times before, then awesome! That’s one less thing to worry about! Anyway, show the teacher your Admission Ticket and they will point you to a desk in the classroom. Go put your stuff down and if you need to sharpen your pencils, now would be an awesome time to do so. Trust me. You have until 8 a.m to get all of your stuff together. When you’re done sharpening your pencils sit down at your desk and observe your surroundings. Unless the teacher is talking, it’s a good rule not to start a conversation with anyone (as to not share secrets about the test I presume). Your classmates will be yawning and stretching and trying to get as much leg room as possible so beware–you will be yawning. If you brought a drink or some food, place it by your feet, under your desk. Turn off your phone and keep it under your desk. Sit perfectly still and recite Shakesphere. I kid, I kid. But if it helps your relax, feel free to do so. Actually, a good thing to do, would map your way to the bathroom. When it’s time to go, there’ll be a mob of students and you’ll have to rely on your legs to get you to the bathroom in time. Also, plan a map for the exit. There’ll be another mob for that too.  At 8 a.m there’ll be an announcement on the intercom welcoming you to your doom. The teacher will proceed to give you a bunch of instructions. These are worth paying attention to if you haven’t gone over the rules already. The teacher will proceed to make you turn off your phone, place your food and drink under your desk, and to clear off your desk of everything except your pencils. They will then give you your answer sheet and test booklet. You will go over the rules and write in special instructions and do various things before you actually start testing. The teacher will write the start and finish times on the board so you can know when you’re finishing and stopping. Now, if you have a laid back teacher, they might move on when everyone’s done, not when the time says to move on. They might skip the breaks if everyone wants to and you’ll probably get out of class early because of it. These teachers are the ones you want. My first year, our teacher was super laid back and her reasoning was legit. She said she didn’t want us to feel stressed because once, there was a girl who was so stressed on SAT day, that when they started to test, she broke down in tears and had to be removed from the premises. The teacher (let’s call her Mis. Recline) didn’t want that to happen to us, so she made jokes, told stories, and made my first SAT experience pretty not stressful. My second time, however, my teacher was different. Let’s call her Mis. Board…… because she made me super bored. Mis. Board was a teacher that went by the rules but didn’t really care. One of the things teachers are supposed to do when you get in the classroom, is make sure you have an approved calculator. Mis. Recline didn’t really care but Mis. Board flat out didn’t care. I had the crappiest, run of the mill calculator and Mis. Board let it pass. I don’t know why, but it definitely helped me. However, it isn’t always like this. One year, my brother had the strictest teacher, who would go around and inspect each and every calculator to make sure that it was approved. Anyway, when you get in, you can usually tell if your teacher is either a Mis. Board or a Mis. Recline or even a Mr. Cross. So, you start a long segment when you’re done will all of the intro stuff and after a long segment, there’s a 10 minute break. During this break, go to the bathroom. I am not kidding, there’s only (that I remember) one 10 minute break and this is it. So GO! Also, now would be the time to put the ‘mental map to the bathroom’ to work. When you get back, you’ll do a short segment and have a 2 minute break for snacks. That’s why you need to bring something small. Your breaks (aside from the first one) will be 2-5 minutes. If you have a Mis/Mr. Recline as your teacher, she/he will probably ask the class if they want to skip the break or take it anyway. Remember, skipping a break means getting out sooner. After the break, you’ll do another short segment and then do a second long segment. After that, you’ll have a 2-10 minute break (kinda depends) and then have your final short segment. If you’re doing the SAT with Essay, this is where you’d take the Essay segment. After everything is done (when the teacher dismisses you) pack up your stuff and get out of there.

Congratulations! You just finished the SAT with/without the Essay! Give yourself a pat on the back and get in your getaway car! I literally took the SAT without Essay 4 days ago so this stuff is pretty fresh in my mind. I hope I somehow helped!



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