Up next in How to Ace Standardized Tests (12 videos)
Ace the SAT, ACT, and other standardized tests with hard work, plenty of studying, and the tips and tricks in these videos.
You Will Need
- A sprig of rosemary (optional)
Go to bed early
Go to bed early the night before. Sleeping only six hours instead of eight increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol by 50%, and sleep- deprived people score 30% lower on memory tests.
Don’t skip the corn flakes. Students who eat breakfast score higher on tests and report less test-related anxiety. Best bets? Eggs for brain-boosting choline, and oatmeal for a calming increase in serotonin levels.
Imagine acing the test. Sounds crazy, but visualizing success, like a term paper marked 'A,' stimulates the alpha waves associated with relaxation, making you less likely to choke during the exam.
Pop a stick of gum. In one British study, the act of chewing was found to activate the hippocampus, the brain area responsible for memory, improving recall by 35%.
Use this acupressure trick: Press the spot on your wrist about two thumb widths down from the base of the palm. Acupuncturists believe this signals the heart to slow to a more soothing rhythm.
Bring a bottle of water with you to the test. Even the slightest dip in hydration levels can lead to stress, memory loss, and a drop in mental functioning.
Take deep breaths
If you feel anxious during the test, take a deep breath. Breathe into your belly, not your chest; count to 10 as you inhale and 10 as you exhale. This helps you focus and lowers stress hormones in seconds.