6 Tips to Overcoming Test Anxiety For the SAT

Cali Burrell, Reporter

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     Many would like to say that test anxiety isn’t real. But many college-bound high school students experience it. Although the scores from the SAT is a sliver of the pie that makes up a college admissions checklist, many students feel as though a bad score or an okay score can ruin their chance with their dream college. “Ever since middle school I always heard how hard the SAT was and how difficult it would be to study for the test. Hearing this at a young age kick-started my test anxiety” said Maricela Pastrana, Junior. Test anxiety is something many high school students endure throughout their high school experience. I’ve got six tips on how to overcome test anxiety for the upcoming SAT, that will take place on Tuesday, April 9.

 The first three tips are things to do the day and the night before test day:

  1. Do Not Study: Don’t study the night before the test. Studying the night before a test can make you even more anxious and you aren’t even taking the test yet. Study the week before but not the night before. Looking over material the night before can sike you out and you’ll feel like you’re gonna forget certain basic things. Relax the night before, eat a good dinner, throw on some Netflix and really just relax.
  2. Prepare: Having everything ready to go the night before a big day can alleviate a lot of rushing and frantically running around in the morning. For the SAT all you need to bring is your student ID, a good number two pencil (make sure you bring a backup), a calculator if you have one, a bottle of water and some snacks for in between test breaks. Don’t worry if you don’t have a calculator or an extra pencil, there will be extra pencils and calculators at the testing location. You could even pick out an outfit the night before to make your morning go by smoothly.
  3. Bedtime: Getting a good night’s rest is something as students we’re always told is the key to having a good test day. Getting sleep before a test can really help one think clearly and not want to fall asleep during the test. Don’t be distracted by sleep on test day and get good sleep the night before test day!

 The next three tips are things to do on test day and during the test:

  1. Positive Attitude: Having a positive attitude walking into a big test can have an amazing outcome. The main source of test anxiety is low confidence. Think positively and tell yourself that you can and will do amazing. This will give you new confidence and no matter the score you receive you’ll know you tried and did your best!
  2. Just Start: When taking a test we tend to flip through the pages of the test and look at how long the questions are and how many questions there are. But if you just start the test without looking through it you’ll feel less anxious. And don’t worry about the people around you and how fast they may be going through the test. Just start; there’s no harm in just starting the test because leaving questions blank can only hurt you. It will give you more time on the test and less worry in your head.
  3. Tik Tok: Yes each section of the SAT is timed but don’t freak yourself out over how much time you have or don’t have. Don’t worry about the clock and focus on what is in front of you. Only check the time at the beginning of the test and when you are on the last page of the section you are in. By only checking the time two times you give yourself the ability to pace yourself if you’re going too fast and to kick up your gear if you’re taking a little too long. The clock should be the last thing you’re worried about.