My outside the box SAT prep strategy

I deal with lots of kids who are super stressed about the SATs and the ramifications. A lot of them take classes, endless practice test, read books, make flash cards, and generally drive themselves crazy. I’m not saying that some kids don’t benefit from a little studying. But, the way most kids get wound up about the test can’t be helpful. I would wager that they lose more points from the test taking anxiety than they gain from much of the studying.

My philosophy was to be super chill about it. I had bigger fish to fry focusing on my classes. I figured I either knew it or not. I took the same approach to my SAT II’s and my AP. I never took a class, read a book, did a practice test, or made a single flash card. I just made sure to learn my stuff in school, get a good night’s sleep and eat a solid high protein breakfast. The result was that I went into that room with no pressure, stress, or anxiety. And, that let my brain do its cognitive best without any interference.


World History SAT II – conveniently can’t remember because it was bad. Class hadn’t prepared me for it. My parents asked me if I wanted to study and retake it. I laughed.

SAT – Eng: 720, Math: 690

US History SAT II – 730

US History AP – 3 or a 4 can’t remember exactly, but a credit-earning grade either way

English/Writing SAT II – 780

I don’t mention these scores to toot my own horn. I have always tested well. I honestly believe that if I had studied and got all wound up I may not have done as well. Unscientific, yes. But, sometimes I can color outside the lines.

Standard Disclaimer:

In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.

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