Since I just took my last ever SAT today (which is a huge milestone in the career of my life) I felt that I should post some words of advice to the young and inexperienced.
LIST: What Not to Bring to the SAT
1. One Pencil – You will need to sharpen it at some point, and trust me, you don’t want to be getting up to do that. Bring at least five pencils, all pre-sharpened, and a little sharpener.
2.5. A Mechanical Pencil – Those are prohibited. Just in case you stick a tiny piece of paper in the tube with an answer key written on it. Or go rogue and poke someone’s eye out. (But you could use a normal pencil for that too…)
2. A Huge Sweater – You will get hot and need to take it off. I recommend a zippy- or button-jacket which is less bulky and will fit in your bag better.
3. A Necklace – My philosophy was, if I look nice, I’ll be more confident, and I’ll do better. But the pendant kept hitting the front of my desk every time I leaned forward. Luckily that wasn’t enough of a disturbance for the supervisor to oust me, but it must have been annoying for the guy next to me.
4. Jeans – Well you could if you wanted to, but I find that I test the best when I am comfortable. Today, I went in sweatpants, and you’ll see some people who go in their PJs. When one part of the test is particularly hard, I might slide off my shoes and sit pretzel-style, which is really relaxing.
5. Chips – Or any type of noisy snack. I mean, bring a snack, but not a noisy one. At some point during the test, you will get really tired and keeping your strength up is really important. You might not feel hungry at all, but it’s a really good idea to eat something during at least one of your breaks. This is just good for your brain, which will be/was working really hard for four hours straight. I recommend an energy bar, or some nuts in a plastic container.
6. A Stomach Full of Water – Getting dehydrated is bad, but needing to go to the bathroom for the whole first half-hour (during which you will write your essay) is distracting. Instead, bring your own bottle of water. When you feel thirsty, you can take little gulps (right when you begin and during breaks).
7. Something to Do – This is just optional. If you don’t know anyone at school that your testing at, it’s nice to have an activity to do (or pretend to do) while you’re waiting for your parents to come pick you up.
Hope that helped!