Whether your SAT test preparation consists of working on your own, in a group or class, or one-to-one with a qualified SAT tutor, a good attitude will help you get a higher score.
Of course a positive attitude doesn’t give you more knowledge but it does make taking the test less stressful. Stress makes you too tired to think clearly. Stress can actually make you forget what you know.
Play the SAT game.
Playing a game is less stressful than taking a test. Games are usually great attitude boosters. So thinking of the SAT’s and PSAT’s as games helps you keep the pressure off yourself. In fact, if you think about it, doing SAT / PSAT questions is a lot like doing puzzle games like the ones on placemats in fast food restaurants.
It goes without saying that you’d rather be eating your burger than doing placemat puzzles, but other than that, they’re interesting, and maybe even fun.
Play the SAT sport
Maybe thinking of the SAT’s as a game isn’t quite enough. If you’re still getting upset when you miss a bunch of questions, think about your favorite sport. Now think of the SAT game as your latest favorite sport. When the questions get really hard, you can consider them a move in your sport as opposed to a difficult question.
Here’s how it helps. While winning in a sport is important, it wouldn’t be fun for you to play against a team of 4th graders. You’d always win. Too little challenge and the game’s not fun anymore. Fun games are those where you get some points, then your opponent gets some, then you. If you can get into this mindset, missing a question isn’t so awful.
The sport mindset helps keep you from dragging yourself down when you miss questions. Remember, negative thoughts cause stress which can cause you to miss questions you know.
So instead of being mad at yourself, think about your loss in more positive ways. Praise your opponent–he guy who wrote the question. Think to yourself, “Good for you. You got me on that one.” Certainly a better choice than thinking “I’m so stupid.” You can even give your opponent a not-so-polite nickname.
Boost your attitude
Professional educators write the SAT and PSAT questions. Don’t believe the rumors that test questions are written by high school and college kids for summer jobs. It’s not true and only makes you feel worse when you miss questions.
One last attitude booster: Get plenty of rest the night before the test. Eat breakfast that has more protein than donuts and drink lots of water. If you’re sleepy, hungry, or dehydrated, your attitude can go right down the drain.
What are your test strategies? Please tell us about them in the comment section below.