Thoughts and moods can impact our lives in many different ways. When you are preparing for a significant exam it is important to know how your inner thought life can alter your performance.
First you must know that confidence is a significant factor in how well you do on an exam. In order to have confidence you must first, be adequately prepared and second, have a positive outlook. People who tell themselves they can perform well often do.
What is Working Memory?
In addition to boosting your confidence, good thoughts may also influence your working memory. Your working memory is the part of your memory that holds short-term memories and can recall memories when necessary for the task at hand. You would use working memory on an exam to recall references or life experience for an essay, vocabulary definitions and how to use math equations. Working memory is an important part of taking an exam.
Depressing Thoughts and Working Memory
A recent study discussed on PsyBlog found that depressing thoughts can cause you to loose focus and inhibit your working memory. The study asked participants to recall certain pieces of information they were given. While they were working on that task they were interrupted. Some of these interruptions were neutral other interruptions were depressing. The study found that participants who were already thinking depressing thoughts had difficulty setting aside the depressing interruptions and remembering the information they were asked to recall.
The study suggests that if you want to perform well on an exam or even successfully accomplish daily tasks like remembering a grocery list, you need to think positive thoughts.
Change You Mind
Don’t let thoughts like “I’m going to fail” or “I can’t do this” enter your brain. Use a mantra to tell yourself that you are prepared and you can do well. Not only will this help you feel better and give you confidence, it will improve your memory as well.
When you have been stuck in patterns of thinking negatively it can be difficult to stop thinking depressing thoughts. One way to help increase your positive thoughts is to write positive messages to yourself. Write them on the notebooks you study with or stick a post-it in your book bag. Reading these notes as you begin your study sessions will boost you confidence from the start.
Negativity can have a strong impact on your thought life. You can inform your friends and family that you are working hard to stay positive and you would appreciate it if they would keep negative thoughts to themselves. As you and your friends remove negative conversations from your daily life, your whole community can improve.
Stress and anxiety can also cause a downward spiral of negative thinking and depressing thoughts. The best way to combat this spiral is to fight stress with exercise, eating right and getting enough sleep. When you begin to have a negative thought, an article from Oxford Brookes University suggests mentally shouting the word “STOP” or visualizing a stop sign or red traffic light. This can stop negative thoughts immediately and you can stay on track. The articles also suggests picking a focal point, such as a clock or poster, and think a positive thought, likes “I can do this” as you breath out slowly. This can help eliminate anxiety and steer your mind away from depressing thoughts.
Confidence and Positive Thinking are Key
Confidence and positive thinking can help you perform your best on an exam like the SAT. Don’t let negative thoughts cause stress and impede your memory. Be proactive about staying positive as you prepare for the SAT or ACT and you will be able to stay positive on the day of the exam. Hard work and preparation will help you feel confident and succeed on the SAT or ACT.
Mountain View SAT Prep
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