The SAT and ACT are some of the most high-stakes tests a high-school student can take. So it’s understandable why many students experience anxiety surrounding the exams.
Still, freaking out while taking a test isn’t ideal, since it normally means you lose some focus and risk hurting your score.
New York City test-prep expert Anthony-James Green has a strategy to battle stress during an exam: Make it boring.
“You cannot be freaked out by something that bores you,” Green told Business Insider. “In other words, if you’re scared of these tests, spend so much time with them that they become boring and anxiety will become impossible,” he continued.
Green used the analogy of riding a roller coaster at at theme park to clarify his point. “It’s like riding a roller coaster; the first time, it’s horrifying,” he said. “The second time, it’s so-so. By the fifth time, you’re wondering if you’re allowed to play Angry Birds to pass the time during the ride.”
To make the exam boring, he advises students to start studying as soon as possible — ideally their freshman year in high school, but keep it to 10 minutes a day. By they time they are ready to take the test, they will have ” seen every type of problem 500 times,” he said.
That, combined with taking plenty of practice tests and getting the right amount of sleep the week before, will ensure you are in the best position possible come test day.
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