It’s test day. Others are nervous, but you know you are ready. You’ve prepared for weeks: your room is covered in flashcards, you’ve taken every practice exam out there, and you just used the word ‘obstreperous’ in a text message. You are ready.

But when the proctor says ‘begin’, you can hear the clock tick and see the second hand swirling in front of you. The words before you seem to blur. You can’t keep from checking the clock. What do you do?

Just as you prepare for the test with studying and memorization, knowing how to manage your time and conquer the ticket clock is of equal importance for college test prep. Whether it is the SAT, ACT, or any of a number of college or graduate entrance exams, here are a few tricks to help you beat the clock and let your hard work shine through.

1. Break out the stopwatch

Practice tests are a great way to prepare for the big day- so why not practice time as well! From your first practice test to your last, timing yourself will help get you accustomed to the pressure that time limits bring. But remember- no cheating! Be sure to score your practice tests based on what you completed in the allowed time, so there’s no surprise when you hear “pencils down”.

2. Be your own time guru

Only you have the power to manage your time! On test day, make sure to bring a watch, set goals, and keep a careful eye on your time. At the start your time may seem endless, but maintaining a watchful pace from the start can keep you from finding yourself with pages of unanswered questions. Set goals for how many questions you would like to complete in a certain amount of time, and stick to them. This will help you to keep moving forward without spending too much time on a particular question.

3. Know when to move on

Breaking up is hard to do, but moving on from a difficult question can save you time and agony later in the exam. If it seems like one question is taking too much of your attention, accept that it is time to move on- the answer may even come to you later when you are less stressed about finding the answer.

4. Have a need for speed!

When it comes to the reading portions of these exams, there is one tried and true way to save time…read faster! Of course, faster reading often can come at the expense of less retention and missed information. With the eyeQ program, you will learn how to sharpen your brain and read faster without the critical loss of information. Even more, eyeQ can help you to overcome some of your worst reading habits, like loss of focus or re-reading, which can be critically detrimental to your exam scores.

We may not control time, but don’t let time control you! Make sure the clock doesn’t come between you and the score you deserve. Consider these tips and be sure to contact us for more information on increasing your speed, saving your time, and increasing your score.