8 More Things NOT To Do The Day of The Test

Standardized Test Day No-Nos

It's the day of the test! You're ready for it, right? Not if you're planning to do any of the following, which is a continuation of the "15 Things NOT To Do the Day of the Test" article. (Check back there for the other seven!)Whether you're taking the SAT or the ACT to get into undergrad, or the LSAT, GRE, or MCAT to get into graduate school, there are just a few things that are on the "Do Not Do" list for test day. Wanna know what they are? Of course you do. Read on for the fifteen things NOT to do the day of the test.

8. Walk Into The Test Center After a Night Of Partying

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I've seen it before! Kids walk into the SAT after staying up all night with their friends yukking it up, having a great time. SAT sleepovers are popular because kids think it'll be fun to commiserate about the shared testing experience, bum rides from one another and celebrate afterward. Make plans to hang out the night of the test, not the night prior. Your future college plans could be riding on it! If you stay up all night, you will not be in peak fighting condition, and you'll need every ounce of your brain power to do well on this exam. Despite the fact that your best buds are all doing it, avoid partying the night before or you may not be seeing too much of them your freshman year if your score ends up in the 20th percentile.

9. Walk Into The Test Center After a Night of Cramming

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Cramming will not help you on the LSAT. Or the ACT . Or the SAT. Or the GRE. Or the…you get my point. Don't make the mistake of studying instead of sleeping. According to psychologist and sleep expert David F. Dinges, Ph.D., "a sleep-deprived person may […] start to experience apathy, slowed speech and flattened emotional responses, impaired memory and an inability to be novel or multitask." Do you want your memory to be impaired on the day when your memory should be working full bore? Probably not. Sleep is your ticket to mental acuity, and cramming will not help on a reasoning test, anyway. You're wasting your time.

10. Forget Your ID/Admission Ticket

Drivers License
Getty Images | Lisa Peardon

On the day of the test, it's important to do a check before you get in the car to head to the testing center. You need your approved calculator. Your approved photo ID. Make sure you've checked whether the one you're thinking about bring is approved or not – photocopies, damaged IDs, birth certificates and social securities cards (among others) WILL NOT WORK. Make sure you've also printed your admission ticket, and that it perfectly matches your ID. You will not be allowed to test without those and wouldn't it be really awful to have to go back home to get your ID, only to come back to test and have to take it another day because you were late? Yes, it would. It really would.

11. Forget to Shut Off (Not Just Silence) Your Phone

copyright flickr user Johan Larsson

Cell phones are not allowed to be turned on at all for any reason when you're testing. They're a major distraction! And although the proctors will not necessarily confiscate your phone, if it rings or buzzes or you're seen poking around on it during your standardized test, your exam will be invalid and you'll be asked to leave the testing center. That's it. No excuses. Turn it off.

12. Decide to Skip The Test

Getty Images | Tim Kitchen

So, let's say you stayed up too late the night before, or you just didn't want to drag your legs out from underneath the covers and drive to the testing center. You decide to skip the test. What's the harm? You can just retake it another time, right? There are a couple of problems with this logic. First, you'll have to pay a rescheduling fee, which can range in price from around 26 bucks for the SAT up to $80 or more for the LSAT! And that doesn't even take into account your time frame for taking the test. If you're planning to apply to college, missing a test date could jeopardize the admissions timeline. Take the test when you're scheduled.

13. Decide To Add A Test

Some standardized exams like the SAT and the GRE offer subject area tests for you to take to prove your competency in different areas like Mathematics, Biology, Literature, Languages, etc. The day of the test, however, is not the day to decide to just go ahead and take one, even though you're allowed to add them. Why? You're not ready. The subject tests are not the same as the standardized test for which you've been preparing for months. Wait until the next test date, prep for the tests, and then knock yourself out.

14. Worry Yourself Into a Lather

copyright flickr user altadottie

What's worse than taking a standardized test? Worrying about it until you're sick and unable to function. Or breathe. Test anxiety is real, and it can destroy your confidence, and hence your score, on a standardized test. Sure, the test is important – it can, after all, help college admissions advisors make a determination about your placement in the school of your choice. But it isn't a life or death test. If you completely bomb it, life goes on. Worrying about it only increases your chances of doing poorly on the exam, so do yourself a favor and imagine you're on a tropical island or do some deep breathing or something to relax before you test.

15. Walk Out With Testing Materials

Pointing at you

This is a no-no, and happens more often than you'd like to believe. People take the testing booklets. But grabbing the ACT booklet to give to your buddy who's taking it in a few months is just not very bright. It can completely negate all of your hard work because if you get caught, your score can be voided! And, even if you don't get caught, it's redundant. Every major standardized testing company prints sample tests for you to use to study. Why steal one when they've already given you a practice test? Yep. Doesn't make sense to me, either.