Dear Raiders Class of 2016,
Our upcoming two days of testing for the ACT can seem long, challenging, and stressful. The best approach to ensure your success is to put yourself in a position to be in control of your day! This will will prepare you for the day and the challenge as well as significantly lower your stress level.
Here is some advice I would share to accomplish this as we go into testing next Tuesday and Wednesday:
- Get a good night’s sleep. Being well-rested will help you manage stress, contribute to having enough energy for the long days, and help you better focus on the task in front of you. Besides…it’s just being kind to yourself.
- Start your day right. That means getting up early enough so you can:
- Ensure that you arrive at school early. Remember early is on time. You do not want to be rushing. You want to be calm and relaxed, so managing your time is a smart way to do this.
- Get a good breakfast. Protein (eggs, nuts, or peanut butter) and complex carbohydrates (whole grains breads/bagels, oatmeal, etc.) are the best way to go. Avoid sugary food and drinks. Watch your caffeine intake. Drink some water to make sure you are hydrated–this is critical to have your mind functioning at its highest.
- Stretch or exercise your body a little before school so that you are awake, focused, and ready to go.
- Get to school early–this is better than being on time as noted above.
- Please remember to leave your cell phone at home–you do not want your score or anyone else’s invalidated because your phone went off. You don’t want it distracting you during the day.
- You cannot bring food or drink into the testing room, however snacks will be provided each day during the break between tests.
- Throughout the testing remember to breath. Quiet deep breaths keep you calm, ensure you have oxygen rich blood going to your brain, and fend off stress. A great strategy to use to relax, refocus, or reduce anxiety is to breath in deeply (you should feel your stomach and chest expand somewhat if you are doing this right) for a count of 7, hold that breath for a count of 5, and then exhale for a count of 8. This will flush the carbon dioxide out of your system and bring more oxygen in!
- Lastly, remember that the ACT and Work Keys are tests of your skills. You have practiced these skills a thousand times over. You know how to do these things. Relax, focus, and do your best!
You are prepared for these days, so do your best Raiders and show us what you have learned and how you have grown!