Many students have experienced test anxiety at some point in their lives. If this is something that you struggle with, here are some practical ways to alleviate it:
Be well prepared to take the test.
Before you begin studying, you may want to do some goal-setting to assist with direction, focus and motivation. For example, you could set a few goals once you figure out the date of the test. Do some backwards planning from the date by using your calendar and decide which concepts to study and how much time you will devote to studying each concept. Each month, you can check in with your goals and refine them or set new goals. Each week, you can track the progress of your goals by writing down the action steps you’ve taken to achieve each goal.
Another helpful activity is to take frequent timed practice tests so that the test-writing environment, test structure and content become increasingly familiar!
If there are significant gaps in your knowledge, it would also be a good idea to attend an SSAT preparation course or to get help from an experienced SSAT tutor.
Engage in self-care and establish healthy habits.
Get a sufficient amount of sleep each night, so that you are well-rested and have lots of energy and enthusiasm to get through each day! Eat balanced meals so that you are getting all the necessary nutrients and you can function at your best. Include at least 30 minutes of movement most days of the week, and this can be broken up into smaller increments over the course of a day. Getting enough exercise could be as simple as taking your dog for a walk around the neighbourhood, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
Could you be worrying in a way that’s counterproductive and keeping you from doing your best? Whenever you catch yourself getting anxious, remind yourself that you’re not being present, and then make an effort to notice the objects and people in your environment, so you can get back to being present! Remember, you’re not being fully present if you’re stuck in your head and worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. And it’s eating away at time that could be spent sleeping, eating, studying, playing, or any other activity that is much more pleasurable than worrying!