Tactics and Techniques to Improve your Testing Day

With state testing coming up next week comes the long dread that many students feel when they think about having to sit in one room for hours on end. I have taken many state tests in my life, and it always happens the same way about halfway through my brain shuts down. I start thinking about the sounds around the room, the fit of my clothes, and the texture of the paper. My mind does everything to distract me from doing the work because it is so done reading the passages or doing math questions. Over the years of taking these tests, I have received some helpful techniques to keep myself on task and survive the mountain that we call state tests.

The first technique I learned was to wear comfy clothes. Last year when I took my advanced placement exam, I showed up in my favorite sweatpants and a sweatshirt. This gave my mind one less thing to think about while I was taking the test. I didn’t have to think about the tightness of my shirt or how tight my pants were. Another good thing to remember is to always dress in layers! Teachers always say this, but the testing room always seems to be too cold or hot.

Another technique is to take small breaks from the test. Depending on the test, there might be small breaks already built-in. However, even if there are small breaks between sessions, the sessions can belong. In the middle of sessions, it might be a good idea to take mini one-minute breaks. If you notice your mind start to wonder, take five deep breaths and begin again. These breaks don’t have to be breathing exercises, but that would be an excellent place to start.

One final thing you can do is to eat a good meal before testing. Make sure you are not hungry because that would be one more thing to distract your mind from the task at hand. These tests, no matter how boring, can be very important to your future. I hope these tactics help improve your testing experience and help you be the best student. Good luck!