Students who succeed on exams often enter the exam feeling very confident. When you are confident
that you are prepared and capable of doing well on an exam, you won’t feel as much anxiety. When you
eliminate anxiety, you will be able to focus more clearly on the exam. Confidence and lack of stress work
in a circle; as confidence goes up, stress goes down, and as stress goes down, confidence goes up. Here
are a three unique ways to boost your confidence and relieve stress.
1) Force a Smile
The Smithsonian Magazine cites research that found participants who were instructed to smile while
doing challenging tasks had a lower heart rate and reported feeling lower levels of stress than those who
did not smile. So, even if you are feeling stressed and anxious, try to smile. It can help you relax and feel
more confident. Not only will it put you at ease, but it can put others around you at ease, creating a more
relaxed testing environment.
2) Music to Pump You Up
It turns out that athletes are on to something when they listen to their favorite jams to get pumped up for
the big game. Science Daily cites research that found music, particularly music with driving bass lines can
help listeners feel more powerful and in control. Make a playlist of your favorite songs that make you feel
powerful and listen to them before you study, or even a few minutes before you take the exam. The music
can help you feel powerful and confident and help take your mind off of your anxiety as the exam
3) Believe in Your Ability to Improve
If you simply believe you are bad at math or just aren’t a logical thinker, it is not likely that you will improve
in those areas. A presentation from TED-Ed points out that people who have a growth mindset, meaning
they believe they can improve at a specific skill with practice, are more likely to get better at it than those
who believe they are inherently bad a specific skill. Instead of telling yourself you can’t do something,
start working to make yourself better at it.
These three tips can help give you the extra confidence you will need on the exam day. Don’t let stress
and anxiety get in the way of feeling confident and performing well. Try a variety of techniques to help you
feel mentally and emotionally prepared to take the test.
More About Mr. Test Prep’s Los Gatos SAT Test Prep Services
Michael Romano has been offering his Los Gatos SAT prep services for almost two decades. He’s seen thousands of kids and helped with just about every kind of standardized testing anxiety a student could have. This has taught him that increased scores come down to confidence. Yes, you have to understand the material, but confidence is—more often than not—the #1 cause of a student’s trouble with testing. Bearing that in mind, he has created an SAT tutoring program that builds confidence by desensitizing his students to the conditions of the test, while providing them with targeted instruction on both the academic content of the exam and the tips and tricks that make it so much easier.