Anxiety and the ACT and SAT Test

When studying for the ACT there are four crucial components that affect your score: subject knowledge, time management skills, test-taking strategies, and test anxiety. A good ACT or SAT prep class will focus on subject knowledge, time management skills, and test-taking strategies. What Lighthouse College Planning has found, especially for our brighter students, is that they know everything on the test. The question is if they have enough time to get all of the answers down. Time management skills are crucial. Students tend to just go question 1, question 2, question 3 that’s a tough one, focus on 3 for a while, then they get it. Next they answer questions 4, 5, 6, 7, then get to question 8, another tough one. Instead, go through 1,2,3 if you don’t know it skip it, 4,5,6,7,8 if you don’t know it skip it, and then you come back to it, but you do the easy ones first.
The more difficult ACT component to deal with is test anxiety. Very, very few of the ACT prep classes deal with this. Most of the time when you think of test anxiety you are thinking of absolute brain lock down. While this may happen, the more prevalent of test anxiety is just a little anxiety. Dr. Alfred Frost out of Buffalo, New York, who has done numerous studies of this, and what he has found is just a little bit of adrenaline in the system severely inhibits memory recall. Dr. Frost uses a relaxation and visualization technique, similar to what the Olympic athletes use. Using test anxiety techniques can help raise your score.
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