Your child is taking the SAT in less than 48 hours. Maybe they’ve been prepping for months, or maybe they haven’t, but at this point, options are limited as to how you can help. There are a few things you can do to optimize their performance between now and the time pencils go up on Saturday morning, and we’ve pulled them together for you right here.
- Stay positive. If they’ve slacked off a bit up to this point, now is not the time to point it out. There will come a day when, if scores fall short, you can point out missed opportunities to prep and help them craft and implement a plan for next time. But right now, your job is to get them to be calm and focused on doing the best they can at the moment. Your encouragement will help motivate your teen to be more confident.
- Encourage them to get things ready the night before. Teenagers aren’t always great at planning ahead. Have them put everything they need for the test on the table the night before. Make sure they have sufficient No. 2 pencils (with working erasers), a functioning calculator (ask them to check the batteries/charge), their registration/admission ticket, photo ID, etc.
- Confirm travel arrangements/plans. If you’ll be driving them to the test center, double check that you know how to get there (especially if it’s unfamiliar). If they are driving themselves, make sure they know where they are going, where they’ll park, and that they have gas. Taking public transportation? Verify that as well. Plan some extra time.
- Help them make good choices. It seems common sense that parties or super late nights the night before aren’t a good idea, but a reminder isn’t unwarranted. A reasonable bedtime is all they need.
- Assist them in the morning. You don’t need to micromanage their every move (they’ll be on their own in college!), but helping them stick to a timetable in the morning and get out the door with some sustenance in their belly and a reminder that you’ll still love them no matter what their SAT score will be appreciated…some day.
Quick and Dirty List on What Not to Do:
- Make them take a practice test.
- Grill them on math problems or arcane vocabulary words.
- Tuck them in at 8pm.
- Talk to them about how if they don’t get X score, they’ll never get into college.
- Compare their (potential) performance to their older sibling/next door neighbor/arch-nemesis or really, anybody else at all.