My students know my mantra, “stress is the enemy of test performance.” In a given class, I might repeat this phrase five or ten times. Science proves that an unstressed brain learns more efficiently than a stressed brain. Science also proves that stress fosters anxiety which leads to poor test performance. While a little stress can keep students focused and on task, too much stress will push test scores down. The SAT and the ACT are not content-driven tests that reward cramming and all-night study sessions.
As such, the recommended approach to SAT and ACT prep is to avoid stress. If you remove stress from the process, you can practice problem sets with your best problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. But if you are not convinced with my one reason to avoid stress, here are 850 additional reasons to avoid stress. This link will take you to a list of over 850 school that do not use ACT or SAT scores to admit a substantial number of students. The list is produced by FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. In other words, there are over 850 schools that will ignore your test scores and instead focus on your GPA, your letters of recommendation, your essays and the many other elements in your application package to consider your admission. More importantly, there are many excellent schools on this list. Perhaps some schools are unfamiliar to you but all of these schools offer tremendous educational opportunities. Chances are, there is a school on this list that can offer exactly what you are seeking in a college experience. So avoid stress in your ACT and SAT preparation. Find the motivation to keep working at it if you want your score to improve, but don’t forget that are many schools that will consider the other elements your bring to the table before considering your test score. For more stress-free test preparation, contact CROSSWALK. The Monterey Peninsula’s local resource for SAT/ACT/PSAT/SSAT prep, CROSSWALK offers face-to-face tutoring and Skype tutoring for standardized tests and academic subjects.