Exercise Before Tests

High school students annually stress over SAT and ACT test scores. Parents and other figures offer countless little tips to boost students’ performances. Eat a good breakfast, they say. Get a good night’s sleep, they prod.  Have a nice cup of coffee, they advise.

            These are all simple, little tips that could boost a student’s thought process and generate higher scores. Furthermore, exercising the morning of your big ACT or SAT test could also help increase your score, according to an article in The US News & World Report.

            Exercise releases chemicals in the brain that sharpen one’s ability to learn and think quickly. Also, exercising to increase mental processing is more effective if it is done immediately before taking a test.

            The article cited a study completed at a Naperville school. Students’ standardized reading skills significantly increased, and their math skills increased by a factor of 20 if they walked or ran for ten minutes before taking a test.

            Most students take SAT and ACT tests at local high schools. Students could boost performance by getting there early and running a few laps on the school’s track or field. Don’t be embarrassed; people won’t think you’re preparing for a test. They will probably assume that you’re a student athlete. If you’re really concerned with being embarrassed about running before a test, bring a stop watch and make a big ol’ spectacle about your make believe times. Lace up some fresh, new Nikes, and people will certainly think you’re an athlete.

             Don’t worry about being a stinky, sweaty mess either. Just think: you can be Harvard’s stinky, sweaty mess. Exercising before your test could make you Ivy League stinky and sweaty, which is a lot better than a fresh-smelling state school. Who knows, you might even have cold weather on the morning of your test, and you won’t sweat.

            You don’t need to go Richards Simmons style out there before your test. You’re not going to be training for the Olympics or anything like that. But, 10 or 15 quick minutes before your test could genuinely help your performance.

            Running around your neighborhood before you drive off to your test could help your scores, and you wouldn’t have to worry about running at the school. But, the best improvements are caused by running/exercising immediately before the test.

            If anything, exercising before your test will help you clear your mind and alleviate a lot of the inevitable stress. It could even help you be more relaxed as you’re taking the test, which could only improve your performance.

            Exercising at the site of your big ACT or SAT might seem a little bizarre to you and your fellow test-takers. But, it beats the heck out of underperforming on what could be the most important test that you have taken before.