How to prepare yourself for the SAT or ACT (besides studying)

SAT and ACT prep are beyond stressful. Along with the studying you're doing for exam day (good job for all your hard work!), there are a few additional test preparations to adhere to before the big day. Doing your best not only depends on academic preparation, but mental care and self-love. Follow these five self-care hacks so you can walk into the exam room as cool and confident as ever!

Hydrate, bae!

According to Penn State University, keeping yourself hydrated can improve your ability to recall information, reduce test stress and give yourself an extra boost of energy. Make the effort to drink more water a week before your registered test day. Some quick tips to help you drink more water are setting reminders on your phone, carrying a water bottle with you *everywhere* and cheffing up some infused water. Check out this post for 5 DIY refreshing (and healthy) infused water recipes!

Fuel your brain 

Between all the standardized test cramming, make sure you're squeezing in nutritious snack breaks. Some brainy foods to add to your meals throughout the weeks before test day include berries, nuts, salmon, eggs, beans, leafy greens (especially spinach), pomegranate and dark chocolate. These foods contain awesome vitamins (like Omega 3's) to enhance brain function. Your exam-day-breakfast should consist of protein to keep you sustained, whole grains for energy and yogurt to help with the nerves.

Catch some extra Z's

As teens, we all need 8-9 hours of sleep a night (which seems pretty impossible between school, sports and social life). To achieve that dream score on test day, you absolutely *need* to walk in well-rested. No one wants to fall asleep during their SAT or ACT! Check out this article for 12 ways to get the best beauty sleep of your life before test day.

Get hype with your fave music

This tip is most effective when used the morning of test day. Jamming out to T. Swift or your fave hype Wallows song is a sure way to get out of your head and into the moment. Host a little dance party in your car to shake off all the worrisome vibes and enter the testing room feeling super cool and confident. 

Meditate the nerves away

Another way to help with test nerves is by practicing meditation. Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth helps regulate your nervous system. It's as simple as closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths. Not a fan of meditation? Check out this article on how to *actually* enjoy meditation (from someone who's been there)

Need college admission advice? Check out these related posts: 

💖 9 things you need to know before applying to college 

💖 10 affirmations for the girl struggling with college application anxiety 

💖 Here's the stress-free way to prep for college

💖 Things every girl *needs* to hear before her freshman year of college

Follow us on Instagram for more study tips @girlslifemag!

All GIFs via GIPHY

Top image @sophiazapiolaadvising


by Cara Lamina | 2/21/2022