Staying Focused on the SAT Test

So you've finished the months of SAT test preparation, and test day has finally arrived. It's natural to be nervous, but don't let anxiety get in the way of doing your best on the SAT. Too much anxiety can lead to careless mistakes on easy math questions, inability to concentrate on long reading passages, and plenty of other bad stuff. Here are some tips on how to deal with that nervousness and staying focused during the SAT test.

The SAT is Only a Test

You've heard it before. It's just a test. Remember that the SAT test isn't the only factor in college admissions. GPA, extra-curicular activities, statement of purpose, and for some schools, letters of recommendation will all also serve as decision factors. Besides, you can always retake it the SAT if you don't do well the first time around.

Think Positively

If you go into the SAT test thinking you're going to fail at achieving whatever goal you've set, then it's more likely failure will become reality. Think happy thoughts. Tell yourself you are going to do well. Tell yourself you will answer every question to the fullest of your abilities. Think success.

Pay No Attention to SAT Test-takers Around You

If you get stuck on an SAT question, you'll probably be tempted to look around to see how everyone else is doing. You'll see people thinking hard and writing stuff down, which might lead you to believe that everyone else is doing fine and is having no problem with the current SAT section. However, you should keep in mind that others might be working on a different problem than you are or haven't even reached the problem you're stuck on. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing. Worrying about others isn't going to improve your SAT score, so CONCENTRATE ON THE TASK AT HAND.

Take Notes During the SAT

Because of your nervousness, it'll be easy for thoughts to get garbled in your head. How can we solve this problem? Get your thoughts down on paper. Work out math problems in provided spaces. Cross out answer choices that you know are wrong. Write notes while reading passages. Writing notes will also be helpful when you have to come back to a question. You'll know where you left off and what else you might have to do.

To reiterate, staying focused on the SAT test is extremely important. The SAT test is very long, so the ability to keep concentration will put you that much farther ahead of the pack. Good luck.