Determining the amount of time it takes to complete a question on the SAT or the ACT can be established prior to the test because there are very specific types of test questions on these exams. Once you know how long it takes to answer a certain kind of question, you will feel less worried about the time limit for each section. The EA Team has worked with many students who improved their performance just by knowing this information. With that little bit of knowledge, students can more easily complete a section since they already know how long it generally takes YOU to answer a specific type of question.
Here is a step-by-step guide to determine the time it takes to answer a question.
1. Ask a friend/parent to time you with a stopwatch, which is easily found on your phone.
2. Read one question and answer it.
3. Write down the amount of time you believe it took you to complete the question.
4.Compare your belief to the reality by asking the timekeeper how long it actually took to answer the question. You can push yourself to answer the questions a little faster. Perhaps a second or two each time you practice.
Do this multiple times until you feel the result is reliable. When you are taking the test, remind yourself of the reality of time, so you can eliminate the tension caused by a time limit this type of test anxiety. You can repeat this procedure for an entire section or any passage within it.
If you are not able to complete a specific portion of the test during the time limit, then you have two alternatives.
1. You can push yourself to answer the questions a little faster. Perhaps a second or two each time you practice.
2. You can decide that you will still be able to obtain a high enough score for the college of your choice if you don’t answer all the questions in that section. For example, in the reading section, you might not read a specific passage that and just fill in “B” for all the unanswered questions. Remember that it is better to focus on a specific passage and get the majority of questions correct than to race through all of the passages and only get a few correct for each one.
It is most important to set up a plan of how you will take the test before you are sitting in an exam room. Base your strategies on how long it will take to answer questions and what you will do if you encounter a passage that is extremely challenging. If you want some assistance setting up a plan, contact the EA Team to learn about the types of questions and how to speed up your response time. You can reach us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (845.582.0017).