Managing ACT & SAT Exam Stress

Are you nervous about taking the ACT or SAT exam?  Don’t worry!  You are totally not alone.  Every high school student most likely feels just as nervous as you do!

In this post, I’ll give you 3 useful tips to help you manage SAT or ACT exam stress.

Tip 1: Be Ready – If you want to feel more confident about taking any exam, then you have to adequately prepare.  The more prepared you are, the calmer you’ll be and the better chance you’ll have at earning a high score.  Standardized exams are definitely not tests that you can just cram for.  In order to succeed, you’ll have to study the material bits and pieces at a time.

In addition, it would be helpful if you became familiar with the exam format to avoid any extra stress or anxiety.  If you receive your test booklet and it looks exactly how you expected it to look, then you’re more likely to jump right in and focus on answering the questions correctly.  You can become familiar with the exam format by attending a review session or picking up a review book from your local bookstore or library.

Tip 2: Don’t Over Do It! – You should only be doing a light review the night before the exam.  It’s important that you get a good night’s sleep in order to adequately focus on the exam the next day.  If you have been preparing for the exam weeks ahead of time, you should have no problem getting to bed at a decent time.  If you show up to the exam tired, you’ll just be more anxious, which will likely jeopardize your performance.

Tip 3: Breakfast – It’s probably not a good idea to take the exam on an empty stomach.  Studies show that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t skip it.  I believe this is especially true when taking an exam.  If you enter the exam feeling well-rested and fully nourished, then you’ll be more attentive and increase your chances of doing well on the exam.

Good Luck!

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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