Night before SAT

Cheat Sheet for the Night Before the SAT

The night before the sat can be quite stressful if you allow it to be. Worrying for hours about the possible questions and the things that could go wrong will only leave you sleepless and tired. What you must do is to channel your anxiety to something that you can prepare for you to be more relaxed the next day.

In this article, we have listed some last-minute SAT tips and things to put in your bag to make your SAT experience a little less stressful. 

Things to Pack

SAT Admission Ticket

If you’re asking yourself “what to do the night before the exam?” the perfect answer would be putting your Admission Ticket inside your bag. That’s on the email the College Board sent you when you signed up for the SAT. In case you missed it, never fear. Just head over to, sign in to My SAT, and you can print out your ticket from there. 

Approved ID

Got a school ID?  A driver’s license?  A passport?  Any of these will work.  Just make sure your ID fulfils these requirements:

  • It has an unexpired photo of you
  • The government issued it, or the school you currently attend
  • It has your full, legal name–and it matches the name on your SAT ticket
  • It’s in good condition–readable, visible, not covered in chewing gum, etc.

As long as your ID checks those four boxes, you’re good to go! Make sure that you tuck it inside your bag the night before the SAT to avoid any problems the next day.

Number 2 Pencils

For the scantron to recognize your answers, you should bring A LOT of number 2 pencils and not that mechanical pencil that’s already in your bag. 

Have you ever gotten to a test and thought, man, if only I hadn’t brought so many pencils?  No.  Never.  You can also be the saviour of the desperate few who forgot to bring an extra pencil. Trust me; this is one of the last-minute SAT tips and tricks that you won’t regret–it’ll feel so good not to have to stress about breaking a pencil and running out of time.


So what are you going to use your erasers for if you have already brought too many pencils in your bag? Aren’t you overpacking?

It won’t hurt to be extra careful when it comes to tests. Things may happen, and you might be required to use an eraser so bringing one should definitely in your list.


Yes, test centers are supposed to have visible clocks and everything. But it’s not always guaranteed.  Sometimes the clock breaks. Sometimes it’s up too high to see. Sometimes it becomes the home of a packrat. You never know. So to answer your question on what to do the night before the sat, one good answer would be to ready your wristwatch.

Bringing a watch is super easy, and that way, you’ll always know what time it is. You’ll be able to time yourself. Take control of your surroundings!  Don’t pin all your success on the outside chance that there’ll be a working clock in the testing center.


You’re going to need a calculator for the SAT math section (most likely). And you’re also going to want to check those batteries. Yep. It’s one of the things that you should be taking care of the night before the SAT. Don’t wait until the morning. Change the batteries, and sleep soundly, knowing you won’t run out of juice in the middle of your toughest problem.

Also, don’t bring a super-fancy calculator that has a keyboard or can access the internet.

Check Collegeboard’s list of approved calculators to make sure you can take yours to the testing center.


The test is so long. And you’re going to have a couple of breaks. Why not make your breaks happier (and feed your brain while you’re at it) with a little snack? Preparing your snack for the test is one of the last-minute SAT tips we can give you that you will surely thank us for.

It should go without saying that you want to focus on healthy snacks–fruits, vegetables, water, etc. Try and avoid candy bars. (But maybe pack a candy bar for an after-SAT celebration snack!)

What you should not bring during the test


Bringing any electronic device aside from your calculator and watch is discouraged because it might cause a distraction to you and the other test-takers. At the very least turn your cellphone off.

Let’s say an aunt called to wish you good luck and your ringtone blared all over the room. It will annoy not only the other students who are taking the test but also the proctor. Who knows, she may even send you out because of that simple mistake. See now why this is one of the last-minute SAT tips that are very important?


During the test, you can only write on your answer sheet and test booklet. Bringing unnecessary paper might confuse the proctor and might accuse you of cheating during the exam. 

So the night before the SAT, check your bag and make sure there’s no any kind of paper there.


We understand. You want to do some last-minute reading that might help you ace the test. But bringing books in the testing center will only make you more anxious than you already are. Just let go of the “how to cram before the sat” question in your mind and leave your books at home.

Things to do

Double Check the Time of the Test

Double-check the time you are expected at the testing center the night before the SAT to make sure that you will arrive there on time. Calculate how many minutes/hours will it take you to go there so you can be there at least 15 minutes before the first test. Set your alarm accordingly.

Know your Testing Location

Aside from double-checking the time you are expected to be at the testing center, you should also know how to get there and the best routes to avoid heavy traffic. You should have searched the location a week before and went there personally to avoid any hassle during the actual test. 

However, if you weren’t able to visit the testing center, you may use google map and any available location guides the night before the sat to help you.

Stop studying

If you’re searching for ways on how to prepare for the SAT the night before the actual test, just don’t! Yeah, this one’s more of a “don’t.” 

Shouldn’t you be trying to finish up those last few vocab words you didn’t memorize?

Well, no. You’re more likely to just get stressed out.  You’ve been studying for so long. And you’ve done all you can do. The best thing for your brain now is just to let the information soak in–don’t try to cram more on top of it.

See a movie

You’re done studying, you’ve packed all your things, and you’ve done all the prep work for your test in the morning! Celebrate! Enough with the “how to cram for the SAT” google search.

To take your mind off the test tomorrow, do something fun and relaxing. Go bowling with friends.  Watch Sharknado. Try to balance a stack of plates on your forehead. Whatever helps your brain get loose and happy.

Go to bed at a reasonable time

The final one on the last-minute SAT tips we can give you is to get some sleep. If you usually go to bed at 11:30 pm, you’re not going to get anything out of going to bed several hours sooner. You’ll just confuse your body. Take SAT prep expert Karl Schellscheidt’s advice; “aim to go to bed about 1 hour before you normally would on a school night.”


We hope you find the last minute SAT tips in this article useful! To recap, here are our answers to the question “What to do the night before the SAT?”:

Things to pack:

  • SAT admission test
  • Approved ID
  • Number 2 pencils
  • Erasers
  • Wristwatch
  • Calculator
  • Snack

What you should not bring during the test

  • Cellphone
  • Paper
  • Book

Things to do

  • Double-check the time of the test
  • Know your testing location
  • Stop studying
  • See a stupid movie
  • Go to bed at a reasonable time

As long as you get everything organized for the morning, you’ll pass the SAT with flying colors. Trust yourself and let your brain do its thing! You’ve got this on lock.

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!
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