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Pop quiz: What’s the number one thing you can do to boost your SAT scores?

A. Do daily headstands to improve circulation to your brain
B. Sleep with a test prep book under your pillow to learn by osmosis
C. Only eat foods that begin with the letters S, A, and T until test day
D. Take practice SAT tests

Hopefully, you answered D. (The other options probably won’t work).

Which brings us to our five reasons you need to take a practice SAT test:

Practice makes perfect.

If you want to be really good at hitting homeruns, you go to the batting cages. If you want to play piano flawlessly, you practice every day. And if you want to do well on the SAT, you take practice tests.

  • Taking tests like the SAT is a skill all on its own. Like any skill, you hone it by practicing it.
  • Studies show that testing yourself is one of the best ways to help retain information.

You can’t maximize your SAT scores by only taking practice SAT tests—after all, if you don’t review the material and master new concepts, practice will only get you so far. But practice is by far the most valuable test prep activity you can do on your own.

Get your timing down.

If you had unlimited time to take the SAT, you’d probably do pretty well. Half the challenge of the test is the time limit. To succeed on test day, you need to beat the clock—and if you’re going to beat the clock, you’ve got to get your pacing down.

How can you do that?

You guessed it: practice.

It’s a great check in on progress.

Whether you’ve been prepping for the SAT for a while or you’re just now thinking about getting started, you probably need to check in.

If you’re already on a test prep routine, how’s it going? Is what you’re doing working—are your scores going up? Where can you see further improvement? Practice SAT tests give you valuable checkpoints to make sure you’re on the right track and to help you correct course if needed.

And if you haven’t started your SAT prep journey…what are you waiting for? Take a practice test so that you know where you stand now, and get going!

And don’t forget to check in from time to time by…

Taking practice tests.

Test day is weird.

The day of the big test is likely to be pretty nerve-wracking. You’re taking this big important test. You’re waking up early on a Saturday. You may be going to a different school or someplace you’ve never been before, so there’s the stress of finding the right place. You absolutely can’t be late.

The events leading up to the test can be stressful—you can reduce some of the stress of test day by knowing exactly what to expect from the test itself.

And how can you do that?

Spoiler alert: it’s practice.

Practice SAT tests help with nerves.

I’m not nervous. Why…are you? Should I be nervous? Ahhh!

If you suffer from test anxiety, practice tests are even MORE important. Knowing exactly what to expect on every single section will help reduce nerves. Maybe you’ll still be nervous about your score, but at least you won’t need to be nervous about the unknown.

In conclusion…

Take a practice test. If you haven’t started SAT prep, it’ll give you a good baseline. If you have started SAT prep, it’ll give you a good checkpoint. And either way, it’ll help you do better on test day.

C2 Education is hosting a free Presidents’ Day Practice Test Event on February 17th. Register online or contact your local C2 center.