(Part Two in a two-part series.)
In Part One of this series, we looked at how to plan a restful and productive evening before the big day. Now, that day is here. What can you do to stay focused, alert, and calm?
The following suggestions should go a long way towards promoting and maintaining a positive outlook on test day. They are taken from our A+ Test Prep and Tutoring Handbook.
- Pack snacks (protein bars, nuts, fruit, cookies, or trail mix) and fruit juice or water. We mentioned in Part One that a protein-based breakfast is recommended. However, what’s recommended and what your digestive system will tolerate are not always the same. If you didn’t eat breakfast (or even if you did), you will want a supply of healthy food available during test breaks. Let’s keep those stomachs from growling!
- Grab your “envelope” with all the necessary items. What is necessary? Your photo ID, admission ticket, five No. 2 pencils (sharpened), a calculator with fresh batteries, and a wrist watch. We recommend the Testing Timer watches. Oh, and written directions (in addition to GPS) if you have never been to the test center.
- Leave extra extra time. Plan to arrive at the test center 15-20 minutes early NO MATTER WHAT. That means taking into consideration traffic, weather, flash floods, swarms of locust, the return of the dinosaurs, or being pulled out of your car and offered a lucrative Hollywood contract. Get there.
- Practice “visualization”. You’ve made it to the test center 20 minutes early and double-checked that you have everything you need. What do you do with that extra 20 minutes? Bite your fingernails and worry yourself silly? Not a chance. The A+ Student Handbook explains how a technique called visualization can help reduce test anxiety.
“Find a quiet place. Close your eyes and visualize a place or a situation that relaxes you. Allow all of your senses to become engaged with everything that might surround you. For example, you may choose to imagine yourself relaxing on the beach. Listen to the sound of the waves as they break on the sand.
Stay in this peaceful place for at least 5 minutes. Leave everything else behind you, especially the upcoming test.”
Visualization can also be used more briefly (1 to 2 minutes) during the test. Consider using it to refocus if your mind wanders.
You have done the best job of preparing yourself for the test that you can. Now go in there and show what you can do!
At A+ Test Prep and Tutoring, our practices are based on the latest developments in educational theory and research. We have an excellent team of tutors who can help you with standardized testing, executive functioning, or achievement in any other school subject. If you would like more information, our Client Service Directors Anne Stanley and Susan Ware are available to answer questions and provide solutions. You may reach either of them by calling A+ Test Prep and Tutoring at 215-886-9188.