Students, parents, teachers and administrators are unbelievably stressed during test-taking time about these critical exams because the test results often determine a child’s future placement in school and are increasingly seen as a measure of teacher and school competence. Here are a few tips how to maximize test scores.
When my daughter was studying for her MCAT’s to get into medical school, she kept coming up short. All motherly bias aside, I knew she could have aced those tests and racked my brain to solve this dilemma. Then it hit me. She was stressed out to the max about this test; the results could determine her life’s course. I came up with a complete regimen for her, and her test scores increased by five points. She got into medical school, and today she is a physician. She loves her life.
10 Tips to Maximize Test Scores
Eat blueberries and bananas
These foods increase your serotonin which counters high cortisol levels that occur in stressful situations. Foods with B-6, protein, and complex carbs such as sweet potatoes, rice, sunflower seeds, tuna, whole grain bread, pasta, cereals and fruit increase serotonin and endorphins, which open the brain channels.
Wear your favorite color to the test
Science shows that color greatly influences our mood, productivity, and creativity. Science is beginning to tell us how greatly our moods, productivity, and creativity are influenced by color. Surround yourself with your favorite color, from your pencils to your earrings. This is calming and creates a balance in your test-taking environment.
Walk around the block
Exercise produces endorphins (healing hormones) almost immediately, which helps lower cortisol effectively and reduces stress. Discover new exercises such as Pilates, Yoga, tai chi, or chi gong.
Rent a comedy or listen to a funny download
Laughter has been scientifically proven to reduce stress hormones and release endorphins. Go to YouTube and watch a funny two-minute video. Find a website with jokes and share them with your family. Laughter even boosts your immune function and will prevent you from getting sick.
Take a hot bath the night before the test
For your bath be sure to use aromatherapy candles. Science tells us that water reduces stress in the mind, body, and soul. The morning of the test, turn on the faucet and put your hands (up to your wrists) under the water. Take a deep breath and clear your mind for one minute.
Maintain an attitude of gratitude
It is physiologically impossible to be grateful and experience stress at the same time. Studies tell us daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy. Research shows grateful individuals report having more energy and less physical complaints than their non-grateful counterparts.
See the others in the testing room as a community
Isolation is an illusion. Viewing your fellow testers as a team will increase your feeling of safety and decrease your heart rate. Your community is essential to reducing stress.
Repeat positive affirmations
Try affirmations such as “I will do my best today” or “All is well.” Stop self-hate talk and thinking. Empower yourself.
Remember to breathe deeply
Most people take shallow breaths when they are stressed, which starves the body and brain of oxygen. This starves the body and brain of oxygen. Develop the practice of taking a deep breath before you take tests. The breath clears the mind, body, and soul.
Practice guided imagery
Take a deep breath and imagine you are in a safe place like the beach or a meadow. This gets you centered, clears the mind and alleviates the worry. Science tells us that guided imagery is an excellent method for reducing stress in the mind, body, and soul.