Are You Feeling Nervous About Standardized Tests?
By: Miriam W.
If you’re like me, you don’t even want to think about standardized tests. I know it’s hard to face, and if you haven’t taken them already, I guarantee they will come at the most inconvenient time. Specifically, the PSAT, SAT, ACT Aspire, and the ACT. Those are a lot of acronyms, but trust me, they’re not as complicated as they sound. Most of the time you only take two.
Because I’m scheduled to take the SAT this year and I’m insanely nervous, I thought it would be an excellent idea to do an article on how to prepare for these standardized tests.
- Study, study, study, study, and study, even if you don’t want to. Yes, I know this is a given, but it does help most of your nerves. Find an effective method of studying that works for you and put in the work to achieve.
- Make use of the unlimited amount of resources available to you. We are living in the information age! We have more access to test prep materials than anyone has ever had in the past. Order a study book from the College Board or download the SAT Khan Academy Practice App on your phone. Instead of scrolling through social media, use those little minutes in the day to do practice problems. You could even join a study group. There are endless resources available to you. You just have to seek them out and be willing to put forth the time and effort involved.
- Get a good night’s sleep and eat breakfast. I cannot stress this enough: eat breakfast the day of the test (and everyday)! Sleep is just as important. I know this is incredibly cliché, but it’s universally accepted that you can’t perform well on an inadequate amount of sleep and with no breakfast, yet students still try to do it anyway. Even if you’re not hungry that morning, eat! I guarantee you will regret it if you don’t.
- Know that these tests don’t define you as a person. This is a big one! Remember, this test doesn’t determine your self-worth as a person. Even though that sounds obvious, it’s something even I can easily forget. If you don’t receive the score you want, you can almost always take it again. Even if you don’t achieve the score after taking it two (or more) times (or didn’t get into your dream college because of it), you are still a special and important human being who is destined to do great things. Don’t ever forget that!
- Relax while you’re taking the test. This is your moment! Try your best and remember what you learned. Remind yourself that it’s just like a normal test, except longer. Open your mind and get comfortable.
- If you’re stuck on a question, look ahead for 5 seconds. I have personally found this to be incredibly helpful. Sometimes your brain just needs a little break from staring at the test booklet. Even looking ahead for as little as 5 seconds can help you clear your mind.
- Believe in yourself! This is the most important tip, for life and test-taking. It’s not just a tip: it’s a necessity for success. Be confident; know that you are amazing and can achieve anything. If you need a little encouragement, feel free to call or talk to a friend or family member close to you who can provide encouragement. It goes a long way!
That’s about it. Whether you have already taken these standardized tests or are going to take them in the future, I hope you found these tips helpful. You got this!