Image of an organized desk set up.

Master SAT with 100% Confidence: 8 Expert Lifestyle Hacks

May 8, 2024

Enhance your SAT performance by mastering expert strategies for emotional readiness and lifestyle management. SATs can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but with a comprehensive approach, you'll be equipped with all the necessary tools to conquer anxiety, improve focus, and set the right tone for your test day success. Don't wait, take the first step towards your SAT success!

1. Eat well, sleep well, and control your thoughts

A significant portion of your SAT success relies on your mental and physical well-being. Proper nutrition, ample sleep, and a positive mindset play pivotal roles in your performance. Begin by ensuring you eat a balanced diet that fuels your brain and body. Avoid heavy meals that might lead to sluggishness during the test. Opt for lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, prioritize getting a full night's sleep before the exam. To prioritize getting a full night's sleep before the exam, try to establish a regular sleep schedule in the weeks leading up to the test. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Avoid caffeine and electronics before bed, and create a relaxing sleep environment by keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. This will allow you to rejuvenate your mind and enhance concentration. Finally, practice controlling negative thoughts. Engage in positive self-talk to boost your confidence and quell any pre-test jitters.

2. There are multiple chances for improvement

Don't be disheartened if your initial SAT score isn't what you hoped for. This is a journey, and it's normal for the first score to be a starting point. The SAT is learnable, and with focused preparation, your scores can improve significantly. Use your first test as a benchmark to identify areas of improvement. By pinpointing your weaknesses, you can tailor your study plan accordingly and target those subjects in subsequent preparation sessions.

3. Know the test location and room ahead of time

To reduce stress on the day of the exam, it's important to be familiar with your test location. In addition to researching the address, parking availability, and traffic conditions, it's a good idea to visit the location before the test date if possible. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the building layout and avoid getting lost on the day of the exam. You can also check out the surrounding area to see if there are any nearby restaurants or coffee shops where you can grab a snack or a drink before the test. By taking these steps to prepare, you can feel more confident and in control on test day, which can ultimately improve your performance.

4. Read each question carefully

One of the most common mistakes on the SAT is misunderstanding the question. To avoid this, it is important to train yourself to read each question slowly and thoroughly. This means not only paying attention to the wording of the question, but also to the details within it. It is important to avoid making assumptions, as these can lead to unnecessary errors. Taking the time to comprehend what is being asked will not only prevent you from making careless mistakes, but it can also help you to identify the correct answer more easily. Additionally, when you take the time to read and understand each question, you may find that you are able to identify patterns or recurring themes that can give you clues as to what the correct answer might be. So, next time you take the SAT, remember to take your time and read each question thoroughly to give yourself the best chance of success.

A student studying with laptop, surrounded by clocks and books in background, highlighting the importance of time management for SAT preparation
Time management is a crucial part about taking the SAT.

5. Focus on the clock and manage your time

Time management is one of the most important skills to hone for success on the SAT. This is because the test is designed to challenge your ability to answer questions under strict time constraints. It is therefore recommended to practice answering questions and develop a sense of how much time you can allocate to each section. Knowing how much time you have to answer each question can help you to pace yourself and avoid getting bogged down on a single question. Furthermore, it is important to note that the SAT is not only a test of knowledge but also of time management skills, so mastering these skills can be a significant factor in achieving a high score.

6. Move on if you don’t know the answer

It's important to keep a level head when dealing with challenging questions on an exam. Spending too much time on one question can be detrimental to your overall score, so it may be best to make a strategic decision to move on and come back to it later. Remember, every question is worth the same number of points, so it's better to answer as many questions as possible, even if you're unsure of the answer. Don't be afraid to make an educated guess, as there's no penalty for incorrect answers. By keeping a clear mind and making strategic decisions, you can maximize your chances of success on the exam.

7. Breathe and visualize a relaxed state

Anxiety is a common experience among individuals when it comes to performance tasks. It is important to recognize that anxiety can hinder your performance and lead to negative outcomes. However, there are techniques you can use to manage your anxiety and perform at your best. One such technique is practicing deep breathing exercises, which can help you remain calm during the test. By taking a few deep breaths, you can slow down your heart rate and center yourself. Additionally, it is helpful to close your eyes and visualize yourself confidently answering questions. This mental exercise primes your mind for success, allowing you to approach the test with a positive mindset and greater confidence in your abilities. So, next time you feel overwhelmed with anxiety, try practicing deep breathing exercises and visualization techniques to help you perform at your best.

8. Engage in positive self-talk for confidence

Your mindset plays a crucial role in determining your performance. To enhance your performance, you need to replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. For example, instead of telling yourself that you can't do something, remind yourself of past successes and affirm that you are capable of achieving your goals. Moreover, it is essential to keep reminding yourself of your preparation and the hard work you've put in to excel. This will help you stay motivated and focused, even during challenging times. So, make sure to practice positive self-talk regularly and keep reminding yourself of your strengths and capabilities.


As you aim for excellence on the SAT, remember that preparation isn't just about knowledge—it's about creating a holistic foundation that supports your academic endeavors and personal growth. Embrace the power of emotional well-being and a purposeful lifestyle to ensure that you're not just equipped with facts, but with the mental and emotional fortitude to face challenges confidently. Elevate your SAT preparation by joining Aha's AI learning platform. Beyond traditional study methods, Aha offers personalized insights, actionable feedback, and comprehensive study materials. By signing up for Aha, you're investing in a transformative approach to learning that empowers you to conquer the SAT and achieve your highest potential. Subscribe now and embark on a journey of smart, holistic, and effective SAT preparation.

Relevant links

Related Blogs