By Akanksha Khurana:

Twelfth class just got over for the students of batch of 2013, now they are being bombarded with questions like ‘Oh, so what are your plans for colleges?’ Don’t we just hate it when this happens? It is, in fact, one of the most detestable questions. But also it is inevitable. The main work starts after boards or, for some of us who wish to go abroad for higher studies, the task of taking up entrance tests arises in the fall of junior year and the beginning of senior year.

These entrance tests test one’s basic knowledge. It surely doesn’t guarantee admission in a college but it is one of the most important aspects.

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How well one does in a competitive exam doesn’t show how intellectual one is, neither does it depend on ones high school grades. It’s just an essence of the whole ‘getting into a college’ procedure.

I, myself, have taken the SAT twice and a few things which really help are-

  • Take practice tests and time yourself. This helps in understanding the exact format of the exam and builds up confidence.
  • Be equipped- you would not want to be unprepared on the test day, in terms of stationary, calculators (put fresh batteries), a watch etc. Make sure you have printed your admission ticket and have other necessary identification cards.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast on the morning of the exam. Taking a test on an empty stomach is the worse thing that can happen; in fact, carry a snack and a bottle of water with you to the test center to have during the breaks.
  • Don’t freak out: Especially one day before the test. Relax yourself. You may treat yourself with a nice movie or a book or even play Xbox or play station.
  • Cross check ovals: Imagine encircling A instead of B, when you knew all along that B was the right answer, that surely would be disheartening. Make sure you cross check the ovals before moving onto the other sections.
  • Do not waste too much time pondering over one question: Move on if you don’t know the answer to that particular question and come back to it when you’re done with everything else, and if there is time.
  • Make sure you know the exact address of the test center beforehand to avoid any last minute confusion. Also, try and reach the venue 20 minutes before time, again, to avoid last minute chaos. This also gives you time to choose your seat and get organized.
  • Instead of going back and forth between the OMR sheet and the test booklet, just write your answers in the test booklet and transfer them over at the end of every section/page.
  • Revise the questions you have done before on the morning of the test. Do not do tough questions, which you’ve never done before. That will bring down your confidence instead of boosting it.
  • Lastly, make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before the test. Just like breakfast, getting a full 8 hours sleep will help your brain do its best during the test.

Don’t pressurize yourself with such tests. These are just an evaluation of what you have been learning throughout school. The ability to take these tests without being tensed and staying relaxed is the key to nail them.

One mustn’t get dismayed if one doesn’t succeed. This test is not the only basis of selection. You are not defined by your major, your SAT, your ACT, nor what schools accepted or did not accept you. You are not defined by what school you chose. You are defined by what you do when you get to college and beyond.

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