Preparation for tests such as the SAT and ACT can be stressful for students. There are several things a student can do to prepare for these types of tests to enhance performance and achieve the best possible results. The following are 5 ways to improve your study sessions to make sure you are as prepared as possible. shutterstock_219791656edited

1. Increase Brain Power with Proper Nutrition

Studies have recently found a link between poor test scores and fast food consumption. To boost brain power while studying and before an exam there are several healthy foods you can indulge in. A few include blueberries, oily fish, and whole grains. Healthy snacks like almonds and walnuts can also increase brain functioning.

2. Make Sure to Get Plenty of Rest

Getting adequate sleep before studying or taking a test is obvious, but just how much is needed? The National Sleep Foundation recommends 8 to 10 hours for those 14 to 17 years of age and 7 to 9 for most adults 18 and over. It's also a good idea to sleep in your own bed the night before a test.

3. Take Periodic Breaks While Studying

To improve study sessions it's important to take regular breaks. Studies have shown that a brief diversion from a task can improve your ability to stay focused for a longer period of time. Try to take a 10 minute break for every hour of studying you put in. What you do during your break can be just as important as actually taking one. Don't just sit hunched over in the chair pouring over social media. Stretch your arms and back, take a quick walk outside for some fresh air, or even indulge in a healthy snack.

4. Switch Subjects While Studying

Interweaving your subjects while studying has been shown to improve learning and memorization of each subject. Repetition can be boring, but mixing up different subjects while studying can keep our brains more alert. Your brain may also pick out the similarities between the different subjects and learn new ways of looking at and understanding the same content.

5. Stay Physically Fit

Being in good physical shape is healthy for every major organ, including your brain. Exercise encourages the binding together of nerve cells, which can improve learning. It's good to get in some light to moderate exercise the day before a test. Don't do anything too strenuous. You don't want to be too tired or have sore muscles the day of an exam. 

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