Surprisingly, the fall semester has been crazy busy. I have been buzzing around from house to house, using honey and stings to get people to improve their scores on the SAT and prepare for their college admissions marathon.

One problem a lot of people have is test performance anxiety. Though mastering the material provides one way of tamping down test day jitters, you can also beat your fears through other methods. Here’s a quick checklist for the night before and the morning of the test.

  1. Don’t stay up late learning another 50 vocabulary words. They probably aren’t going to stick in your head anyhow, and their likelihood of  appearing on the test is minimal. Read a few words, do a few math problems, read over some grammar problems, and then have a glass of warm milk and chamomile tea and go to bed by 11.
  2. Wake up early. Do some cardiovascular exercise to get your blood pumping–a run around the block, a quick, chilly swim, or even some jumping jacks will do the trick. Wake up your body, and your mind will follow.
  3. Warm up for the test. Over a light breakfast (granola cereal, milk, a salad, and a cup–no more–of coffee) do a few sentence completion, reading comprehension, grammar, and math problems.  Look at an essay topic and think about how you would write it. Be ready to hit the ground running when the proctor tells you to open your test booklets.
  4. Have someone drive you to the testing center if possible, especially if it is in an unfamiliar area. Driving is stressful enough  as it is, and finding new places, especially with potential glitches in GPS, adds to the anxiety.
  5. Bring some light snacks, and actually stand up and stretch during the stretch break.

Good luck!