So you’ve been taking two practice tests a week for months, have vocab words basically spilling out your eyeballs, and, if you have to spend one more Saturday morning getting tutored instead of sleeping, you may explode. Sounds like you’re ready for the SAT. Well…maybe not. Once the studying is done, the vocab is learned, and your brain is so full of SAT goodness that you’re about to spontaneously combust, it is easy to forget a few key items that you will need when you go to take the test. Lucky for you, we’ve been so kind to compile a list for all you SAT bound students!


Okay guys, I know this sounds dumb and obvious, and you’re sitting there scratching your head wondering who forgets to bring PENCILS. The answer? More people than you think. For instance, when I went to take the test for the first time I only brought mechanical pencils…I then proceeded to beg pencils off a friend of mine. The next time I went in, I had a whole box of new pencils (the old-fashioned, you-need-a-pencil-sharpener kind).

2. Snaaaaacks! And Water! 

The SAT is a long test, and even if you went in having eaten a good breakfast, you WILL get hungry and thirsty. Personally, I recommend the peanut butter sandwich crackers…you know the ones. I’ve found that eating those during breaks was always enough to get me through the test. Protein and hydration. It’s a good combo.

3. Ticket & ID

Make sure you have the admissions ticket for your test, and an ID that has a photo of yourself before you go to your testing site. If you don’t, you will be unable to take the test because they won’t be able to verify your identity, and all the work you have put in will go to waste.

4. Calculator (and extra batteries)

When they say that you can do the SAT without a calculator, they are obviously talking about some sort of super genius because I don’t know anyone else who could do equally well without a calculator. Although it is possible they will be able to find you a calculator, it is unlikely. Also, if you bring your calculator and it dies, it’s no better than having forgotten it. Make sure to bring plenty of extra batteries with you.

5. Watch

Personally, I don’t know how people can take the SAT without having a watch on – I literally had my timing down to the second when it came to how long I could afford to spend on anything. However, even for someone who isn’t as crazy as I am, it’s nice to have a watch to keep track of roughly how much time there is left for given section. Warning: Make sure your watch isn’t going to make any noises during the test.

6. A lucky item

So the first time I took the SAT, I did well, but not nearly as well as I had done on any of my practice tests. Why? I was nervous! So, with my SAT tutor, I invented a lucky item. Honestly, you can choose anything and make it your lucky item, but I’ve found the sillier the item, the better it works. In my case, I have a baby bottle of pureed bananas that has gone with me to my SATs, APs, etc. Yes, you will probably get a few weird looks from people when they see your jar of baby food, but weirdly enough, it really helps calm the nerves!

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the author

Mollie Yacano is a freshman at Boston University studying marine science. She works in a biogeochemistry lab that studies human impact on coastal ecology, assisting with various grad student projects. Aside from being a science nerd, she is a self-diagnosed college admissions addict, and has been writing for TP almost since its inception. When she isn’t writing for The Prospect, she can be found instagramming her nail art, pretending to be witty on twitter, ranting about harmful algal blooms, and of course, wasting copious amounts of time on her personal Tumblr.

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