As a college counselor, one of the most common things I hear from parents and students alike who are worried about the college admissions office, is their fear of the SAT and ACT due to test anxiety.
The SAT and ACT are challenging tests that require weeks, and sometimes months, of studying. They cause fear in students and parents alike because they know how much is riding on them to earn admission to their dream college.
In the best of circumstances, when a test has little riding on it, it can still make a student nervous and anxious. So imagine, when a student feels that her entire future is riding on it… When students feel like their whole world depends on their performance on one particular Saturday morning, it can cause a test taker to feel a lot of anxiety and even freeze on test day.
We need to ensure that our students are capable of scoring to their full potential. To do so, we need them to be calm and confident on test day.
The best way for students to overcome test anxiety is to feel the necessary foundation is in place so they can score to their full potential. This comes through effective test prep. Knowing that they have the tools at their disposal to spot trap answers, analyze reading comprehension passages in advance of the questions, and break down trigonometry equations, is what calms down a nervous student on test day.
As summer approaches, the best thing a tenth or eleventh grade student can do to reduce their anxiety of taking the SAT or ACT is to dedicate themselves to a test prep program with proven results of increasing scores. The time they invest in test prep will give them the tools to succeed on the test and, perhaps just as important, the confidence to succeed during the test.
Wishing you the utmost success come test day. Before that, wishing you a productive summer.
Put yourself in the position to succeed when it matters.