I want to take a moment to introduce you to one of my dearest and best friends Tory. She is amazing! She has a little boy who is only a month younger than my daughter so we have “play-dates” all the time for our kiddos, but really it is so we can hang out together. :) Before she became a mama she was a teacher and taught US History, Journalism, and tutored in SAT Prep for the last 6 years. Now in addition to raising her adorable boy she is a tutor with Home Base Tutoring and specializes in SAT Prep. She knows her stuff.
A couple of weeks ago she held an SAT Prep Booster class for some of the local high school students and gave them some extra tips on how to prepare for the class. I helped her put together some goody bags to hand out and I thought it might be fun to share some of what we did with all of you. I know lots of you are moms (or teachers) and if you have a child who is getting ready to take the SAT or ACT maybe you want to put together a good luck package for them! And you know, this could even work for someone in college (child or spouse) getting ready to take a test like the LSAT or GRE. You never know, a little encouragement might be all they need to help calm those nerves before the test.
Here’s what we put inside the goody bags, and why:
Smartfood Popcorn- for one because the name is cute but also because it is a healthy, light snack. You want to avoid snacks that are heavy because that would draw the blood away from your brain and send it to the stomach to digest the food. Nuts would also be a good option.
Mint Gum- Sniffing cinnamon has been shown to improve scores on memory tests and chewing gum has been shown to improve recall, specifically on the math section.
Small Soda- (notice the word small. That means no RedBull.) A jolt of caffeine can boost your memory, in fact of study done at John Hopkins said that caffeine can enhance memories for at least a day after they were formed. Helpful if you were cramming the night before. If you’re not a caffeine drinker, than good news. An apple or some chocolate can have the same effect. As if I needed another excuse to eat chocolate.
Water- Like the soda you want to only have a small bottle of water. There’s nothing worse than being distracted with the need to visit the bathroom during your test.
Ear Plugs- to cancel out any distracting noises. More than likely they’ll be taking the test with several other people, some of them will be coughing or tapping their pencil or foot, and ear plugs help tune them out.
Pencil & Eraser- these are self-explanatory. *Quick Note, in the picture I have a mechanical pencil because that was all I had on hand, but you actually aren’t allowed to use them on the test. They have to be the old school kind.
Other Ideas- stopwatch or watch to time themselves on each portion. Extra batteries for their calculator.
Then on the big day, or the night before, you can show your support by giving the test-taker this little bag of goodies and wishing them luck!
If you’d like more tips for test taking such as what to wear, the best breakfast foods, and why you should do certain stretches before the test then I encourage you to contact my friend Tory. She has put together a helpful packet that she would be more than willing to share. And just one more plug, because I think she’s awesome, Home Base Tutoring does in person and online tutoring in many different areas including test prep. Check them out!