The Week Before the SHSAT

The week before the SHSAT, focus your time and energy on the following:

  • Focus on strategy and backup plans.
  • Practice the strategies you had the best success rate with.
  • Decide and know exactly how you are going to approach each section and question type.
  • Sit down and do practice problems in the Practice Sets, or complete extra drills you skipped the first time through.
  • Start practicing waking up early and eating breakfast the week before the SHSAT so that you will be alert in the morning on Test Day.


Two Days Before the SHSAT

Do your last studying—a few more practice problems—and call it quits. Now is not the time to start making flashcards or try to blaze through another practice test.

The Night Before the SHSAT

Don’t study. Get together the following items:

  • Your admission/registration ticket
  • Your ID
  • A watch (choose one that is easy to read)
  • Slightly dull No. 2 pencils (so they fill in the ovals faster)
  • A pencil sharpener
  • Erasers
  • Clothes you will wear (Dress in layers! The climate at the test location may vary, as may your body temperature. Make sure you can warm up or cool down easily.)
  • Snacks (easy to open or partially unwrapped)
  • Money
  • A packet of tissues

Know exactly where you’re going and exactly how you’re getting there. Relax the night before the test.
Read a good book, take a bubble bath, or watch TV. Get a good night’s sleep. Go to bed at a reasonable hour and leave yourself extra time in the morning.

The Morning of the SHSAT

Eat breakfast. Make it something substantial and nutritious, but don’t deviate too much from your everyday pattern.
Dress in layers so that you can adjust to the temperature of the test room.
Read a newspaper or a magazine to warm up your brain before the test starts.
Be sure to get there early. Leave enough time to allow for traffic, mass transit delays, getting lost en route, and any other snag that could slow you down.

During the SHSAT

Don’t be shaken. If you find your confidence slipping, remind yourself of how well you’ve prepared. You know the structure of the test, you know the instructions, and you’ve studied for every question type.
Even if something goes really wrong, don’t panic. If the test booklet is defective—two pages are stuck together or the ink has run—stay calm. Raise your hand and tell the proctor you need a new book. If you accidentally misgrid your answer page or put the answers in the wrong section, again don’t panic. Raise your hand and tell the proctor. He or she may be able to arrange for you to regrid your test after it’s over, when it won’t cost you any time.

Once the SHSAT is Over…

Put it out of your mind! Start thinking about more interesting things. Do something fun and relaxing that day. You might walk out of the SHSAT thinking that you blew it, but you probably didn’t. You tend to remember the questions that stumped you, not the many that you knew.

Need some help studying? Check out Kaplan’s SHSAT resources.