The SAT take 3 hours and 50 minutes to complete. The ACT requires 3 hours and 35 minutes to finish. This is a substantial amount of time to stay focused. Most high schoolers rarely encounter situations that require such significant focus and concentration. Building up mental stamina can be one of the tools your child needs to perform well on entrance exams. Here are some tips for improving focus and concentration.
Give your child a book or magazine and eliminate distractions: get away from the phone, turn off music, and power down the tv. When your child is taking an entrance exam it will be silent. You need to be able to quiet your mind and focus on the task at hand. If your child can’t work without background noise they will be in trouble. Reading without any other distractions is a great way to cultivate mental stamina. In addition, it will naturally improve vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Taking timed practice tests is an all around great way to get better at taking the exam. It will help your child develop pacing, comfortability with the questions, and help them track progress and improvement. In addition, it will help your child practice focus and concentration. Your child will cultivate an understanding of how long they will have to keep their brain on task and working at its hardest.
3) Mindfulness and Meditation
The practice of mindfulness and meditation can give your child the tools they need to be calm and focused. Even just a few minutes a day of quiet, focused mediation can help overall concentration. It can relieve stress and anxiety and help your child stay attentive to the task at hand. If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness and meditation, Mr. Test Prep offers a free, optional mindfulness and meditation session once a week.
Using the Right Tools
Nearly four hours of test taking can seem daunting, but it is not impossible. With intentional work, your child can build up their mental stamina. They will be able to stave off inner distractions and keep their calm as the clock ticks. Doing well on an exam is about more than knowing the right answers. It is also about staying calm under pressure and using appropriate tools to banish anxiety.