Combatting test prep anxiety

studying-for-a-test-1_21126739We know there’s a lot of pressure on you to get good scores on the SATs and ACTs. It’s natural to feel some anxiety. But don’t let it get the better of you. Here are some quick tips to make it all a bit easier.

  • Keep it in perspective. Standardized tests are important, but they’re only part of your application. College admission officers look atyour entire academic record not just your test scores.

  • Spread out the work. All the experts say there’s no use in trying to cram for the SATs or ACTs. Allow yourself many weeks and months ahead of time to prepare the test prep work is easier to complete.
  • Get plenty of rest. Regularly getting a full eight hours of sleep a night is important. It reduces stress and will help you perform better in class and on tests.
  • Know when stress is too much. It’s normal to feel a little anxious about an upcoming test. But know when the stress is getting to be too much. It’s fine if the stress is motivating you to stay up late a few nights or to spend more time on test prep – but not ok if the stress is making you feel ill. If you’re experiencing physical symptoms such as a quick pulse, rapid breathing, or nausea, take a break and talk with your parents, teacher, or high school counselor right away.
  • Eat right. It’s easy to indulge in lots of soda and sugary snacks, especially when you’re up late studying, but studies show that lots of sugar can cause you to have that “crash and burn” feeling and actually feel more tired in the long run.

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