Taking the SAT this weekend or the ACT later this month? Here are some test-week tips to get you through the big day:

Wednesday and Thursday:

  • Get extra sleep on Wednesday and Thursday. The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said that two nights before the game is the night for extra sleep. We’re adding an extra night—sorry, Coach! Don’t try to sleep 11 hours on Friday night because you will just end up groggy on Saturday morning.

The morning of the test:

  • Wake up extra early. Even if you are 15 minutes from the test center you should be awake for two hours before test time.
  • Take a shower even if you are not a morning shower person. This isn’t to make you less smelly, but rather to ensure you are wide awake.
  • Eat a breakfast that contains protein. It doesn’t matter what kind of protein you eat. Eggs, cheese, meat, and fish are all great.
  • Do a few easy grammar problems and a few easy math problems before you leave the house. Don’t even grade them. Just do that to switch your brain on.
  • Don’t sink back down onto the couch or the bed if you find yourself with extra time before you leave the house. It’s much better to keep busy, so read something, take the dog for a walk, or engage in some other task.
  • Bring the following: your admission ticket, a photo ID, a calculator, several #2, non-mechanical pencils with good erasers, a protein-packed snack, a water bottle, and a watch (just in case the clock in the room is messed up or the proctor makes a mistake).