Thursday, March 01, 2012

State Of Body And Mind

I’m always amazed to find that students actually stay out late and party the night before taking a big test, like the SAT.

What are they thinking?

Nothing hurts test performance more than sleep deprivation. I’ve seen students lose hundreds of points on the SAT because they stayed up the night before, got three hours of sleep, and then showed up tired and bleary-eyed to take the most important test of their lives!

I don’t know how else to put this ... Please don’t be stupid!

The word “stupid” actually comes from the word “stupor” which refers to a coma-like state of near-senseless unconsciousness – similar to how you're likely to feel while taking the SAT after being out all night the previous evening. So, the word “stupid” is not, in fact, an insult, but simply means “asleep” or “unconscious.” Common sense says it's a very bad idea to be in an exhausted stupor-like state while taking your SAT ... unless for some reason you really do intend to ruin your score.

Get plenty of sleep at least two nights before test day. Get up early the day of the test, and get to the test center 30 minutes ahead of schedule (just in case something goes wrong). Use these 30 minutes not to socialize, but rather to “warm up” by reviewing key SAT strategies and previously taken practice tests and notes, so you can “hit the ground running” and maximize your score.

You should do all you can to put yourself in a peak state of body and mind for any important competition, whether athletic or academic.

Great athletes prepare for their events by taking good care of themselves before a contest, and by arriving early to warm up physically and psyche themselves up mentally, so that at the moment they have to perform they’re able to fully concentrate and deliver 100% of their potential to the task at hand.

As a test taker, an "academic athlete," be careful to follow this example, so that you too will be able to perform at your very best!


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