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Managing Your Anxiety for The SAT and ACT – Amir Articles

On the other hand, some students are fueled by the pressure and use it as motivation. Read manage anxiety for SAT and ACT Tests.


As your SAT and ACT exam day approaches, there can be colossal pressure surrounding your performance level. You might feel like your scholarships, admissions, and even your pride are all on the line.

On the other hand, some students are fueled by the pressure and use it as motivation. They are equipped with the ability to harness the situation’s energy to focus and give out their best possible performance. 

And the others find the stress and the thoughts to perform well as the opposite effect. This eventually leads to a scenario where anxiety hinders their performance. You don’t have to worry about it getting to you because there are many measures that you can opt to take, which will reduce your anxiety. We have listed out seven stress management tips below to reduce test anxiety:

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Make a test-taking plan.

It’s always best to create your test-taking plan rather than purchasing a test-prep book. To prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed, creating a plan of action and being aware of what you are working towards, works like a charm. And to help you stay accountable and organized, it is wise to create this test-taking plan with a counsellor (SAT Tutoring) or parent. 

While making your plan, you should answer questions such as: 

– which test you are taking, whether it is the SAT or ACT

– how you are planning to prepare

– by when do you have to register for the tests 

– what are the test dates that you are working towards


This is pretty obvious but preparing for the test by studying is the best way to know what to expect and feel confident about yourself. You should plan and allocate enough time yourself. You should not cram, but instead, take a few months to prepare.

If you prepare well you will be equipped to tackle the questions well, know the topics being tested and know the level of difficulty you should expect since the SAT and ACT don’t consist of curveballs or surprises. 

The key is to familiarize yourself with the tests as much as possible, so you don’t feel that anxious. Also, you need to keep in mind that preparing does not mean only taking full-length practice tests but first identify your weaknesses and learn or re-learn the concepts.

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Stay organized

By staying organized, you will ensure that you are not panicking and scrambling the test morning or the night before. Pack everything you will need in one place on the night before and make a checklist of what you will be needing. This lets you be sure you have everything you need and not forget anything. 

The checklist must include:

  • Your photo identification
  • Your admission ticket
  • Two sharpened No.2 pencils
  • A good eraser
  • Snacks(for the break)
  • Water
  • An approved calculator with extra batteries

Practice deep breathing and exercise

When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins giving you a good feeling and reducing anxiety. Go for a run, ride your bike, do some yoga or do whatever that appeals to you whenever you feel stressed. Stretch whenever possible while you are taking the test, and during the breaks, you should get up and move.

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An effective way to calm your nerves is deep breathing. You have to breathe in and out through your nose. While breathing in, you should feel your diaphragm expanding and feel it sink as you exhale. Deep breathing helps in giving you focus and keeps you centred. This simple technique works wonders for your mind and body.

You are your own best friend.

Let’s think about a simple scenario where your best friend is feeling anxious about their upcoming test. What would you tell her/him? You would tell them that they are smart and they can do it. So on the day of your test, you must become your own best friend.

Negative thoughts may come and go, but always kick them out and replace them with positive thoughts. You may also repeat a mantra to yourself in your head, like for instance “I am calm”, “I know this material” or “I’m gonna ace this!”

Focus on yourself

When you are taking the test, there quite obviously will be other people in the room with you, but they don’t matter right now, and only you do. You should focus on the task at hand and try to block the other people in the room out as much as you can. 

Never worry about others finishing before you, and all you have to worry about is that you do finish. You are just trying to do your best and not trying to outscore them.

Keep things in perspective.

The SAT and ACT are necessary tests, and you do have to take them seriously, but keep in mind that they are not the answer to everything or not the be-all and end-all. You have to remember that you can retake the test if you are not happy with your scores.

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You must also keep in mind that your college application also comprises your recommendations, statement, resume, and grades.

Last but not least, remember that it’s only a test. Your self-worth isn’t determined by your scores on the SAT and ACT. If you want to look at more of such informational blogs, do visit: Online Tutoring Services.

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Red Note: 30 September 2022

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