Test Pressure

A post from our new employee, Ryan:

There’s an important test in the near future. Students have been preparing for it for what seems like their entire adolescent lives. The results of this exam will go a long way in deciding admission or denial to their chosen higher education institutions. The pressure is immense, and seemingly nothing else matters. Know the feeling? I’m sure you do. But it’s not the SAT that I’m speaking of. Nope, not the ACTeither. The test is called Gaokao (高考), and to the education system I encountered while living in China, it is a test that means everything.

Pressure definitely exists for students to produce the desired SAT and ACT score results. However, it is always important to remember that in the admissions process, the test scores are just a portion of how universities evaluate prospective students. While we often focus our discussion on these tests, and they are certainly important, it is also true that there are other ways to influence admissions officers.

This is not the case in China. Admission to Chinese universities is almost wholly dependent on the results of the Gaokao. The exam is administered just once each year, over a 3 day sitting in June. Chinese teachers and students prepare the entire senior year for this potentially life-changing event. There are no do-over’s… one chance, one test, and then it’s time to move on with the rest of your life.

So as you sit down over the course of the next few months to take your own pressure packed SAT or ACT, I have this advice. Relax, take a deep breath, focus, and then allow yourself to smile. Why smile?

Because you are not in China, and this isn’t the Gaokao!



SAT this Saturday, 3/14/15 (Pi Day!)

Happy Pi Day to you all, especially those of you taking the SAT that day.

For those signed up, you should have received an email earlier today which reminds you where to access your Admission Ticket (so you can print it) as well as how to enter in college codes. Please email us at info@moprep.com if you have questions about entering in these codes, but when in doubt, don’t worry about it! You can always send them later.


The Night Before:

  1. Review your strategies.
  2. Do a few practice problems of each question type to give yourself confidence.
  3. Map out the directions, figure out how long it will take and where you’ll be parking.
  4. Ready your Test Day bag (see below).
  5. Be in bed by 11pm, earlier if you’re feeling stressed or run-down.


To Do Before You Go:

  1. Eat a nutritious meal (think: eggs, toast, bacon/sausage)
  2. Review your strategies!!


To Bring on Test Day:

  1. Your Admission Ticket
  2. Your ID (driver’s license or high school ID)
  3. Two sharpened #2 pencils with working erasers
  4. Your calculator
  5. An extra pair of batteries
  6. A nutritious snack (think protein + fruit.. like peanut butter crackers and some grapes)
  7. Water to drink
  8. A gallon ziploc bag to hold it all together.