As a student, the pressure to excel academically can often be overwhelming. Nowhere is this more evident than when preparing for the SAT or ACT, where high scores can be the difference between being accepted into your dream college and having to settle for something less.
While students may be tempted to spend hours poring over practice tests or cramming formulas, it’s important to remember that preparing for the SAT requires more than just studying hard. One of the key factors that can significantly impact your performance on an official exam is Test Day Coaching, an original Onsen practice.
Test Day Coaching provides practices and strategies to enhance overall performance; from tackling test nerves, through mindfulness practices, to encouraging a goal-oriented mindset. Each test day coaching session is a space for working through insecurities that may arise during test prep, exploring ways to organize a student’s schedule, promoting healthy habits in preparation towards test day, and, most importantly, applying mindfulness practices to each student’s test prep journey.
So why is Test Day Coaching so important for SAT/ACT prep? Here are a few reasons:
1. Test Nerves: The SAT can be incredibly stressful for many students, and it is easy to get overwhelmed by anxiety or fear of failure. Through mindfulness, you can manage these feelings by allowing yourself to recognize and acknowledge them, rather than trying to suppress or ignore them. By being mindful of your emotions, you can learn to respond to them in a more constructive way, reducing the negative impact they have on your performance.
2. Organization and Time Management: One of the most critical skills you need to succeed on the SAT is the ability to organize yourself and manage your time. Test Day Coaching can help you develop ways to optimize your time during your lessons and get organized for them, even when faced with distractions or fatigue after a long day.
3. Self-Awareness: Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is crucial when it comes to SAT prep. Test Day Coaching can help you gain insight into your thought processes, recurring negative emotions, and recognize patterns that may be hindering your performance. By being more self-aware, you can learn to identify areas where you need to improve and develop strategies to overcome them.
4. Objective-Oriented Focus: Preparing for test day is similar to building a house. Each lesson is a brick. By promoting a goal-oriented mindset, you learn to reach a big goal through smaller goals. In Test Day Coaching, we emphasize the importance of developing small goals, lesson to lesson, in order to achieve a bigger goal. This helps you achieve a sense of direction, focus on time management, motivation, and gain clarity on the intention of your overall program.
5. Test-Taking Strategies: Finally, mindfulness can help you develop effective test-taking strategies. For example, by practicing mindfulness during practice tests, you can learn to recognize when you are getting stuck on a question and develop strategies for moving on to the next one. You can also use mindfulness to help you manage your time more effectively, by staying present and focused on the task at hand rather than getting distracted by worries about the time.
Overall, preparing for the SAT requires more than just academic preparation. Having your Test Day Coaching tool box can help you manage stress and test day nerves, improve your organization and time management, increase self-awareness, develop a goal-oriented attitude, and improve your test-taking strategies. By incorporating mindfulness into your SAT prep routine, you can set yourself up for success and increase your chances of achieving your goals.
Subscribe below to see our upcoming posts—I’ll explore some specific Test Day Coaching strategies we use with our students as well as case studies and feedback from Onsen students achieving their score goals by preparing for the SAT and ACT mindfully.