After weeks and months of waiting, the day is finally here… sounds like a lovely surprise no? Except it’s the SAT, and its anything but a pleasant present. The stress from the test can be a burden, but it doesn’t have to be. Take it from me, a high school junior; there are many ways to deal with test anxiety. For me, I took solace in the fact that I had prepared. A lot. Being prepared for a test is the best way to help relax your mind. The reason why people even get nervous is because they want to do well and are scared when it is time to see the action through. By preparing well in advance for the SAT, you are taking the steps to ensure getting a better test score and likewise having an easier conscience.
Another step to reduce stress is to live a healthier lifestyle. Sure, sure everyone says it, but only because its true! Sleeping, eating well, and exercising are all factors that can relieve stress. Sleeping is vital for the brain to function well, and it also plays a huge role in affecting emotions. If you don’t sleep, you are not letting your brain recharge itself and your overall performance will be poor the next day. While you make sure to get enough sleep, also keep in mind your diet. Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to strictly watch what you eat; rather, it means to sneak in a few healthful options every day. And of course, exercising doesn’t mean anything too extreme. Living a healthier life through exercise could mean just adding 30 minutes of exercise or outdoor time to your daily schedule.
Now, I can’t say that I am the healthiest person in the world, the fittest person in the world, or a person who gets over 10 hours of sleep, but I can say that what I have done to improve these aspects have helped me tackle test stress. By the time test day came around, I had been getting ample amount of sleep for the past few weeks, I ate right, and I felt great- no doubt from the exercise I routinely did. If you haven’t already started to care for your wellness, start doing it now for the sake of test stress.
But what about test day? The biggest fear of many is that come test day, no matter how much they have prepared, the test will turn out to be a flop because on that day stress will overtake everything. I certainly worried about this; messing up on test day is frightening! And yet, everything worked out. I had butterflies in my stomach the minute I walked into my testing center, but when I began my test, it wasn’t daunting because I had practiced beforehand. If you take precautions and ease your way into good habits, the days leading up to taking the SAT won’t be filled with as much stress. Good luck!