5 Things To Do the Day of the Test

Everyone has those nervous butterflies zipping around in their insides on the day of the test, but when you have just minutes before your teacher, professor, or proctor distributes the test, what else can you do to make sure you will do your absolute best? It is already the day of the test, so there's nothing you can do, right? Sure, it is probably too late to learn Quantitative Reasoning strategies for the GRE, but if you are taking a test in school, the day of the test is not too late to engage in some helpful activities that will increase your score on a test in the classroom. Please note that there is not too much you can do to prepare for a standardized test the day of the exam, but some of the following recommendations will still apply. 

15 Things NOT To Do the Day of A Standardized Exam Like the SAT, GRE, and More

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Prepare Physically.

Girl (12-14) standing at hand basin, turning tap
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On the day of the test, head to the restroom before you ever get to class. You will not perform your best if you need to use it. Get a drink of water so thirst isn't on your mind, either. Eat a breakfast that involves brain food! Exercise, even if that is a simple walk around the block in the morning before you get to school. 

Prepare yourself physically before you take your exam, so your body isn't zing-zonging messages to your brain that will distract you. Nothing says, "Poor score" like a hungry belly growling during testing time, or restless legs itching to get up and move. Take care of yourself first so your brain is functioning at its best.

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Review The Facts.

Review the flashcards on the day of the test
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Go through your review sheet or flashcards one last time before putting them away. Your eyes may glimpse some small fact that you didn't really get the previous nights you were studying, and that small detail could show on the test. Glancing through your notes, handouts and study guide may be just what you needed to remember it. 

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Calm Down.

A nervous girl
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Before you test, you need to take steps to overcome your test anxiety, and there are several things you can do on the day of the test to help you get there. Allowing yourself to get anxious about your exam will not help you score your highest; in fact, anxiety can actually decrease your score because your brain will be working hard to calm you down instead of trying to remember what it was that you learned. So take some calming breaths and relax. You'll be just fine if you have prepared yourself! 

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Flex Those Muscles.

Focused muscle relaxation can help decrease anxiety before a test
Getty Images | Rekha Garton

And I'm not talking about flexing metaphorically. I do mean flex your actual muscles. No, you don't have to do the whole, "Which way to the gym?" bicep flex, although I'm sure it is a wonder to behold. Instead, complete some focused muscle relaxation. Just clench and unclench your muscles one by one. Start with your hands, then calf muscles and quads. Flex and release any muscle group you can from your desk. By bunching and releasing your muscles, you will rid yourself of any remaining anxiety leftover from your calming activities before.

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Chat Up Your Friends.

Study Tips: Don't study with your best friend
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Unless you're specifically told not to, talk to the people sitting next to you the day of the test - your fellow classmates. Ask them questions. What did they think was important to remember on the study guide? Someone may bring up a fact you never went over, and missing that question could be the difference between two grades. Ask them if there was a part of the book or study guide they had trouble with. If it's a part you're struggling with too, maybe they'll have some insight into making the knowledge stick. Pick their brains and see if you find anything worth taking with you into the test. If you like and still have time, see if you can get someone to quiz you to ensure you have the information all locked down.