SATYou've only got a week until you have to take your test! Are you nervous yet? If you are, don't feel bad—most students are. That's why the most important thing you can do right now is to have a relaxing, confidence-boosting week.

An attitude of confidence is what you need to ensure a high score on your SAT or ACT.  It can seem hard to feel confident if you are not sure how to spend this final week.  Feeling stressed out is the last thing that is going to help you achieve a high score.

You've already spent plenty of time with study and SAT practice. You shouldn't stop that. But there are a few other things you should focus on this week, as well.

Remove Stress

The keyword for this week is “Stress Free”.  You will think more clearly if your mind is at ease.  There are a few things you can do to remove some stress and feel more relaxed.

You'll definitely want to make sure you exercise this week. Exercise is one of the best ways to de-stress and relax. Exercise boosts your endorphin level, while improving circulation to your brain. This ensures you feel better and are better able to perform mental tasks. Will it also help you sleep and boost your immune system (see below).

So if you already exercise, try putting in a little extra this week. And if you don't exercise much, make an effort to—even if it's just walking for half an hour every day.

If you feel overwhelmed with homework, ask for help.  Most teachers understand the stress students feel when prepping for these exams.  Ask for an extension on an assignment that is due that week.  This will relieve stress by allowing you to stay focused on the exam.

Take Care of Your Health

Take extra good care of your health this week. Don’t get so lost in your test prepping that you neglect yourself.  Eat some comfort food if you like, but make sure you're eating extra healthy as well. Too much junk food will keep you from thinking as clearly as you need to, and can disturb your sleep.

Get plenty of sleep.  Creating a set routine for sleep this week will help.  A lot of times the night before the exam you may have a hard time sleeping due to stress.  If you create a routine, and ensure you get plenty of rest the whole week, you will have an easier time the night before.

Don’t Cram

Keep your study habits the same.  Don’t give in to the pressure of feeling the need to cram in more study time.  This creates stress, and won't actually improve your test score either!  

Cramming may work—temporarily—for tests where you have to remember specific information. But for the SAT and other tests that measure your overall ability, cramming will only tire you out and make you feel stressed—two things that won't help your score at all!

At this point, you've probably spent plenty of time with SAT practice tests and other study aids. While you shouldn't give up working on them, there is really no need to jeopardize your test-taking ability with the stress of cramming, either.

It's natural to feel anxious on the week of your SAT test. But this week doesn't have to be stressful. Get exercise and ask for help when you need it; take care of yourself by sleeping and eating well; and don't tax your brain by cramming, because it won't help your SAT performance, and may even hurt it.

Good luck!


Image Courtesy : Stuart Miles/