7 Ways to Prepare for the May Test Season ...

The May test season will soon be on us, which means AP tests, SATs, and SAT subject tests. This applies specifically to my fellow juniors who may be taking advanced placement courses and who plan on taking the SAT this spring. The May test season is critical to your continued education, but if you prepare, it doesn’t have to be so daunting. Here are a few ways to prepare for your big upcoming tests!

1. Take an SAT Class

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When preparing for the SAT portion of the May test season, I highly recommend taking an SAT class. This can be less expensive than hiring a private tutor and, depending on your learning style, more beneficial to your success. If your school offers an SAT class, make sure you sign up before it’s too late! But if not, many private companies, Elite and Kaplan for example, offer SAT classes; just seek and you shall find!

2. Tutoring

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If you learn better in a one-on-one setting, hiring a private tutor may be the way to go, especially for the SAT. This ensures that you get a personalized study plan and can work at your own pace toward your own goals. If you need help in an AP class, I’m sure your school teachers would be happy to help! Just visit their classroom at lunch or after school and ask for their tutelage. All teachers want from you is to see that you’re a dedicated student, and by approaching them on your own time you’ll be doing just that!

3. Study Months in Advance

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Luckily, we’re still several months away from May, but this isn’t an excuse to put off studying. You should begin studying now if you want to impress your prospective colleges with stellar test scores. I think it’s important to remember that nothing in life comes easy, but that you can make your struggles easier by preparing for them. There’s a chance that this year’s SAT and AP tests will be more challenging than previous ones College Board has administered, so it’s important to study hard and take the test feeling like you know EVERYTHING.

4. Study Guides

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You can create your own study guide, borrow a friend’s, or buy one at a book store. All that really matters is that you get your hands on a study guide and use it! Study guides work best when you pace yourself, not when you try to cram a ton of information into your brain at the last minute. I recommend buying or making a study guide now, and using it right up until the last minute!

5. Flashcards

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I personally love flashcards. They are my most helpful studying tool, and I wholeheartedly recommend them! You can make your own or, if you think you have way too much to study, buy pre-made flashcards. Both can be equally helpful to your success on upcoming tests as long as you study diligently!

6. Practice Tests

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In any situation, don’t you feel less worried if you know what you’re up against? That’s why practice tests make your real test seem so much less intimidating. If you want to perform your absolute best in this upcoming test season, you should take as many practice tests as possible. Just make sure they mirror the actual test content and format, so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

7. Positive Thinking

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It doesn’t matter if your positive thinking comes in the form of meditation, prayer, or positive affirmations you simply restate throughout the day. Positive thinking can do wonders for your success. The old adage "If you can believe it, you can achieve it" applies greatly to your outcome of the May test season. I don’t mean to imply that you can get by without studying, but studying in addition to positive thinking can help you pass your upcoming tests with flying colors!

Since College Board recommends that students take their SATs in Spring of their Junior year, then administers AP tests at the same time, May can be a hectic month for testing. But it clearly doesn’t have to be. How are you going to prepare for the May test season? And if you’ve braved this intense time before, how did you manage to come out unscathed?

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