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How to Prepare for a High-Stakes Exam

Students often feel powerless when taking high-stakes exams, so teaching and practising relaxation techniques gives them back control.

Standardized tests play an invaluable role in making decisions regarding tracking, promotion, graduation and college admissions – but should their test scores alone determine those outcomes?

1. Make a Study Schedule

An effective study schedule is one of the key ways to prepare for high-stakes exams. Plan multiple learning sessions at regular intervals, both covering new material as well as revisiting prior knowledge – this will reduce forgetting while increasing retention.

Use either a digital or paper calendar to organize all of your standing commitments, such as classes, work and extracurricular activities. This will provide a clear view of how much time is available for study; and may reveal areas in which commitments could be reduced or adjusted accordingly.

As you create your study schedule, ensure to include enough downtime so that you are at your most productive during exam prep period. Furthermore, allow time for exercise and healthy diet as part of the plan.

2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Students who don’t get enough rest often struggle to pay attention in class and retain information, leading them to have poor test scores and an overall lower GPA. Furthermore, tired students are more likely to fall asleep while driving or miss vital details during daily activities.

One study demonstrated that well-rested students who learned new material performed two letter grades higher on subsequent tests than their sleep-deprived counterparts. Therefore, getting sufficient rest each night before an exam can have major advantages in performance.

On test day, it’s also beneficial to eat a nutritious breakfast with protein and healthy fats that will support optimal brain functioning.

3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is undoubtedly one of the most essential meals of the day, and especially on test days it plays an essential role. Starting your day right with healthy and nutritious fare ensures optimal performance on test day – not to mention helping protect you from fatigue! A well-rounded, nutritious breakfast satisfies both body and brain needs as it provides energy boost to keep the test from becoming exhausting or stressful!

Avoid foods high in sugar and fat that may make you feel fatigued. Instead, go for high-protein breakfast options like eggs and bacon or low-fat Greek yogurt with chia seeds and berries for optimal energy and focus.

Start the day right by trying something different than usual for breakfast – this could help spark creativity and provide energy that will keep you awake throughout the test. If time doesn’t allow, bring along snacks like trail mix with banana and beef jerky or almonds with water bottle in hand.

4. Take a Break

No matter if it is an academic exam, medical board certification or maintenance of certification exam for teachers – high stakes tests can have serious ramifications – the results could mean the difference between getting hired or entering a prestigious college.

Stressing over exams can put undue strain on students, lessening their performance on tests and ultimately decreasing performance results.

Teachers can assist their students in managing their nerves by teaching them various relaxation strategies such as breathing exercises, journaling about anxieties and reflecting upon positive qualities that distinguishes each of their students – reminding them that one exam does not define who they are as people.

5. Relax

Students need a healthy mind and body in order to excel academically. Eating healthily, getting enough rest, and practicing mindfulness are three proven strategies for reaching this goal.

Exercise these tips with your students to prepare them for high-stakes exams, but if they remain nervous it’s also essential that they learn techniques that will soothe nerves and build their confidence.

As part of your effort to help your students manage anxiety effectively, it’s also crucial that they learn how to reframe a low test score as something less devastating. Showing them ways they can redirect their energy and practice positive thinking can keep them grounded and ensure they can pass any exam – including standardized ones! Practicing relaxation strategies may even help them develop lasting coping methods throughout their lives.

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