1. Believe in yourself. You can do it if you try. You may have to work harder than others, but with the right amount of work you can achieve your goals.
2. Take a practice test. It’s important to take a practice test right away. This will let you know where you stand right now and how far or close you are to your goal. Taking a practice test will also get you acquainted with the format of the test and questions.
3. Make a schedule and stick to it. If you just plan on studying when you get a chance to, you likely never will. Students have busy schedules and many distractions. It is much better to make a schedule and stick to it.
4. Set a difficult, but achievable goal. A goal gives you something to work toward. If your goal is too easy, you won’t push yourself. If your goal is too difficult, you will easily be discouraged.
5. Be accountable to someone. This can be done many ways. You can study with a friend, join a prep class, work with a tutor, or simply tell someone your plan and goal. By doings so, you will be motivated to keep your word and not let that person down.
6. Never make excuses. At the end of the day, you are only making excuses to yourself. Remember that this is your test and your grade.
7. Don’t skip the topics your don’t like. Everyone likes to work on topics that they like or are good at. However, most of the room for improvement is likely with the topics you don’t like. Don’t skip them.
8. Learn from your mistakes. Working through practice problems is a great task for improving your score, but you’re missing out if you don’t review the questions you got wrong and learn from them. Also, don’t get discouraged when you get questions wrong. Very few people get perfect scores, let alone before preparing.
9. Take timed practice tests. Prepare for the big day by simulating actual tests and timing yourself. Most standardized tests are not very generous with time. Be prepared.
10. Take time to decompress. Students have school, extracurricular activities, test preparation and more. Don’t stress yourself out. Make sure you take time to relax and get enough sleep.
11. Treat the night before like any other night. If you want to review a few bullet points, that’s fine, but don’t try to cram. At this point you should be well prepared. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Be aware that the time of the test may be different than the time you need to show up to the testing facility. You are likely required to get to the facility much earlier. Take that into account when you deciding when to go to sleep, and set your alarm clock accordingly.
12. Be confident on the day of the test. This should be easy at this point. You’ve studied and taken practice tests. You know where you stand. Good luck!