How to Boost Your Student’s Performance on the SAT/AP
Whether at the beginning of the semester or a mid-term exam, a time when it’s best to focus, anxiety is a constant presence for students. For high school seniors currently studying for the SAT and AP exams, being in a state of anxiety is a normal part of the college application process. The stakes are incredibly high, and anxiety is most commonly a result of thinking through what it will be like to enter their future lives away from home. However, if you aren’t already worried about your performance, there are steps that can help you have a successful testing experience.
In an effort to help boost student performance, research has suggested that more study time is not always necessary. One study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that time spent studying showed no benefit on performance. Similarly, another study published in the Journal of Psychology found that during standardized tests students have a significantly higher stress response than when they are not preparing.
Instead of distracting students with too much information, it may be more beneficial to provide them with a change of pace. This can be accomplished by breathing deeply or making sure they are moving with the body.
To help students breathe in a direction that will help them better focus, consider using a variety of techniques such as the Chopra Center’s Stagger Breath or the Resisting Overactivity Workout, a modified StairMaster workout using similar moves as the stairmaster. The California Academy of Science offers similar breathing techniques. With any long-term attention needed, personal training and yoga practice may be the best practice for students.
For more effective ways to help students practice this movement and breathing, practice motion training. Spend 10 minutes a day, five days a week doing them. Make the exercises as simple as possible so it doesn’t feel like a commitment. What activities do you find that make sense in terms of steps to improving the mindset of a freshman studying for a mid-term?