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Updated on Aug 29, 2008

Most SAT and ACT books guide a student step-by-step through a series of practice problems, but even so, encourage your child to spend time practicing. The more familiar they are with the test set-up, the less nervous they will be on test day, and the more comfortable they will feel with the questions. From time to time, photocopy a single problem and tape it to the fridge - it will encourage your teen to get used to spending a few moments in "SAT mode". A few days later, post the problem's answer so that your student can compare with their guess.  A handful of strategically-placed questions in the weeks leading up to the test just might make the difference.

Last Minute Tips
Make sure your child gets a good night's sleep before the big day - cramming at the last minute has not been shown to help scores. On the other hand, there is plenty of research to show that eating breakfast (regardless of whether a student is a regular breakfast-eater) does in fact boost scores. To ward off hunger during the long morning, make sure your teen packs a snack; students are allowed to eat during any of the test breaks, and should do so to avoid mid-test hunger pangs.

Finally, don't stress. Your child can take the test multiple times, and feeling pressured will only hurt his ultimate score. Give your teen encouraging words and send him to the testing site with positive energy, because no matter what the score, it's his attitude that will determine his success.

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