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When I was working as an AmeriCorps State* member, teaching college readiness and ACT and SAT prep, I heard a funny story from the previous year’s instructors.

Although it amuses me to think about it, this SAT prep story is a really great illustration of why you should be early to the SAT and why you should get everything you need ready the night before.  

Quick reminder about what to bring to the SAT:

When you go to take the SAT, you need:

Recommended extras are a small snack, bottled water, spare calculator batteries, and a timer or watch to keep time  

Back to the SAT story I was telling:

Anyway, so it’s the day of the SAT. Everyone is filing into the gym where the test will be held when one student realizes she forgot her calculator.

She gives her mom a quick call in a panic – the test is about to start! Mom, I really need my calculator! This is my last chance to take the test before college and scholarship apps are due! “Ok dear – I’ll get your calculator to you… no matter what!

The phone clicks; minutes pass. The faint sound of sirens begins to echo from the horizon; heat waves distort the road; a white speck appears in the distance with two darker forms trailing behind.

Like some surreal scene from the classic 70’s car chase movie, “Vanishing Point,” the white dot comes into focus – a sliding-door family minivan. Behind it are two black and white patrol cars, sirens howling away, lights flashing crazily. Can’t you just hear the dueling banjos?

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The minivan rips into the parking lot of the school, mom leaps out, runs across the courtyard, bursts into the gymnasium like a bank robber, calculator in hand like a six-gun.

She hurls the TI-84 across the room – time stops – freeze frame. The special-edition silver case sparkles and winks like a conspirator under the glare of the humming fluorescent lighting. Wide-eyed daughter catches calculator. Cops tackle mom and cuff her. “You’re coming with us, lady.” The proctor calls out to turn to page one and begin. The crowd goes wild.  

The moral of SAT stories like this one:

Don’t let test day land your mother in San Quentin – get your materials and your plan ready the night (or the week) before. Capisce?

Further Reading:
Test Day Tips
How to Hack Test Day
What to Bring to the SAT Test
SAT Calculator Rules
Energy-Boosting Snacks to Get You Through the Test

Additional Resources:
Visit our Online SAT Bookstore
Winning College Scholarships Video Course for High Schoolers

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