ACT and SAT examinations can be nerve-wracking.
Tests like these are often a measure of how well an individual performs under pressure.
But even when you’ve studied, and you’re well-prepared for your college entrance exam, careless errors can leave you with less than desirable results.
Here are 9 common mistakes that can lead to careless errors:
1. Bringing Your Mobile Device Into The Test Centre
Even if you have no intention of using your device to cheat, if you are caught with your smartphone, you will be asked to leave, and your score will not count.
Mobile devices are sometimes used by students to look up answers or formulas, share questions and answers with friends, and even take pictures of the test questions. It’s not hard to see why a proctor might take an issue with a mobile device at the testing site.
2. Not Making A Few Calculated Guesses
Sometimes students will leave questions blank. In instances where you can eliminate at least one of the answers, it’s better to take a guess than to pass up on questions.
3. Not Studying
It’s careless as it is silly – and yet it happens all the time. Some students will not spend any time preparing for their ACT or SAT examination. You’ll be stuck with whatever score you get, so it’s best to put your best effort forward on your test.
4. Overthinking & Second Guessing Your Answers
This is a common occurrence with Passage-Based Reading questions. You’ve narrowed down your selection to one of two answers, but end up overthinking and picking the wrong one.
Or you have a related issue and lack confidence in your answers. You answer a question and move on to the next, but you never really move on. You keep thinking back to previous questions and second-guessing yourself. You lose focus on the question you should be answering.
Each time you answer a question assume you’ve gotten it right. This allows you to move on. And most of the time you do get the answers right. Trust your preparation.
5. Not Reading The Question
Many students will skim questions instead of taking the time to read them over carefully. This can quickly lead to incorrect answers. Don’t be too hasty – take your time and ensure you comprehend the question before answering.
6. Panicking & Losing Your Cool
Indeed, you are under a bit of a time crunch with the ACT and SAT examinations. But if you panic and lose your cool, you could end up mismanaging your time and misreading questions.
7. Not Preparing Your Materials Beforehand
Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your tools. You’re going to require your photo ID, admission ticket, pencils, calculator, and spare batteries. Prepare the right materials, and do it in advance of your test, preferably the night before.
8. Failing To Understand Directions
Familiarize yourself with the nuances of directions and rules beforehand. This can help you avoid costly and careless mistakes that may lead to undesirable results.
9. Not Budgeting Your Time Well
You only have so much time to answer each question. With the SAT Writing and Language section, for instance, you have 35 minutes to read multiple passages and graphs. There are 44 questions to answer, meaning you have less than a minute to answer each question.
The better prepared you are, the less likely you are to make careless mistakes on the day of your exam.
The best strategy for avoiding unnecessary and costly errors is to focus on the right material and prepare well. Students feel more at ease on examination day if they think everything is in order. But if they end up having to scramble at the last minute to ready themselves, even simple tasks can sometimes feel complex, leading to careless mistakes. Don’t wait until the last minute.