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The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper

Opinion: How to Best Prepare for MCAS

Opinion: How to Best Prepare for MCAS

It’s that time of year: the dreaded MCAS season. Juniors and seniors can breathe a sigh of relief having already completed it in tenth grade, while ninth graders may be shaking in their boots at what’s to come next year. As a current junior, though, I want to share with the current sophomores what exactly I wish I did before taking the test.

First things first, take a deep breath. This test does not determine your future, and it will not hurt you. This is one test. You will not destroy your future if you do poorly.

On the night before the test, there are a few things I suggest you do to make sure you will be prepared for the next day.

Luckily you don’t have any homework, so you can neatly check that box off of your nightly schedule. Since you don’t have homework, make sure you use that extra time at night effectively. Move around; walk your dog, take a run, maybe do some yoga, and make sure you use up some of the extra energy you may be harboring in anticipation. Preferably, you should do this step outside and enjoy the spring days that are upon us.

After you do some form of light exercise, move on to the next step of the evening: eating a good dinner. I recommend eating earlier than usual because you want to go to bed early. Also, you want to eat something that you would normally eat so that you know you will have no trouble digesting it and can feel your best.

After dinner, it is time to prepare yourself for tomorrow. Start by preparing your lunch in advance so you don’t have to do it the next day. Make your sandwich and assemble your lunch box; if you buy lunch, great! You can skip this step or even just pack yourself an extra snack, just in case.

Now, pick out your clothes for tomorrow and leave them out. Then, set your alarm for the morning. Make sure your backpack is packed and ready to go for the next day. That way, you should only have to wake up and grab it come morning time. If you usually wait for the morning to do all of these things, you could possibly even set that alarm of yours for ten minutes or so later than normal, ensuring you can get a little bit more rest now that you’ve prepped everything for the morning!

Next, take a shower. Showers are great for calming nerves and making you relaxed before bed. Of course, remember to brush your teeth!

Following your shower, you should take some time to relax if you can, whether you get into bed or not. My biggest suggestion is to not watch TV. While watching TV may be able to help you relax, it could also make it harder for you to go to sleep. While I can’t stop you from watching TV until your eyes bleed, I strongly recommend against it. Maybe instead though, you could read a book.

Since you will be taking the ELA reading MCAS test first; if you did choose reading, it may help you as it will give your mind some practice before reading a marathon on the test day. It may also help you fall asleep quicker; other activities could include drawing, knitting, or writing. As soon as you start getting tired, turn off your lights and go to bed.

Yes, I said go to bed. Do not go on your phone. The blue light of your phone screen will keep your brain awake and active late into the night, keeping you from getting to sleep.

You should probably be asleep before 9:00 pm to make sure you can get enough sleep. Even though that seems early, remember kids your age are supposed to get nine hours of sleep to be healthy!

When you wake up the next morning, make sure you eat breakfast. Breakfast will help you focus and keep you from being hungry during the test, both of which can improve your  performance. If you drink caffeine, then drink some, but if you don’t drink it normally, don’t pick today to start. You don’t know what impact caffeine will have on you yet.

I also suggest pulling out your book from last night while you’re eating breakfast, just to do some light reading and wake up your brain in preparation for the reading you will do later. You do not want the first thing you read on the day of the test to be the actual test.

When you finish breakfast, check that you have your charger, a full water bottle, a pencil, and a book for when you finish.

All and all, remember to take a deep breath. You will be fine!

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Sarah Annunziata, Co-Editor-In-Chief
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