Whether the day has come for a big midterm, final, the SAT or ACT, or even just a test in your class, taking the time to be calm the day of will make a huge difference in your ability to focus and get your best score. Check out these five simple ways to stay calm and get your awesome score on:

  1.     Get a Good Night’s Rest

The night before a test is more crucial to your performance than you might think. In fact, the biggest mistake many students make is staying up super late (sometimes even pulling an all nighter) in order to do some last minute cramming. Unfortunately, this tends to backfire because sleep is essential for converting information from your short-term memory into your long-term memory.

  1.     Be Smart About Caffeine

Who doesn’t love coffee? Or green tea? And all for good reason, since both have been shown to have immense health benefits. After just one cup of coffee we become less drowsy and more alert, which can lead to increased productivity and concentration. One study even proved that caffeine increases cognitive function. Just make sure not to overdo it on test day, since heavy coffee consumption can increase stressors and anxiety in our bodies. Green tea is always a safe bet for both mental alertness and overall body balance.

  1.     Eat a Balanced Breakfast

A healthy start to any day, especially the morning of a big test, includes a balanced breakfast made with whole foods and quality ingredients. Bump up your protein and healthy fats on test day to make sure you don’t get hungry during your test and to ensure your brain stays fueled. Great examples of the perfect breakfast for test day include sausage and eggs with sprouted grain toast, breakfast burrito with avocado and eggs in a sprouted grain tortilla, or steel-cut oatmeal with fruit and almond butter.

  1.     Practice Effective Breathing Techniques

A great breathing technique for staying calm on test day is called 4-7-8. Dr. Andrew Weil, who studies meditation, breathing, and how it can be used to counteract stress, developed this method. It’s easy to do. You breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold it for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. It slows down your heart rate and helps release chemicals in your brain that soothe you.

  1.     Dress Well, Test Well

Did you know that dressing well could instill a self-confidence in you that is necessary for test taking? A power outfit can ultimately mean a range of things for different students, since personal preference is key. However what is important is for you to find an outfit that you feel positive and great in. Simply put,  dress in a way that helps you to feel smart, confident and good about yourself.

With these five tips you’re well on your way to succeeding on test day!

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