Test days can be your easy days.
They can be the days when you get to relax a little and skate by because you know exactly what you’re doing.
This is something that I didn’t believe until I saw the results for myself. It makes sense if you think that sounds a little crazy. I thought the same way.
For years, I was convinced that I was a “bad test taker.” This is what a lot of students are taught to believe. The system is designed to instill this belief inside of you. It’s designed to make you think that you’re just a “bad test taker.”
It’s a lie.
You are not a bad test taker. I don’t know you but I can tell you that with nearly perfect confidence because bad test takers are never the ones that think they’re bad test takers.
You have had challenges with test-taking in the past.
We all have.
Tests can be stressful. They can make your heart race and your brain shut down. The results of these tests can make a huge impact on your final results. To make it worse, they can also drag your confidence through the mud.
This doesn’t have to happen.
You can feel confident walking into the test.
You can grow more confident with every question you answer.
Test-taking can feel kind of like you’re filling out a personal survey where the results don’t even matter to you. It’s just filling out a form when you know how to answer the questions. There is nothing worth stressing about when you have these pieces in place.
There are 3 areas that you need to focus on to make test days your easy days.
1. Uncrushable Confidence
I’m starting with confidence because it is absolutely essential. The next two parts help but nothing helps more than confidence.
You can be perfectly prepared for a test but if you’re not feeling confident then you’re going to have trouble.
Confidence isn’t what you think it is.
Most folks never notice this distinction but it can make creating confidence in yourself easy.
There is no difference between acting confident and being confident.
How would you recognize a confident person?
You’d probably see them standing up straight. They’d look happy. They’d keep their chin up. Confident people move quickly too. They certainly wouldn’t be slouched over with a depressing look on their face.
Right? What else do you notice about confident people? Do they dress a certain way? Do they talk a certain way?
Once you notice how confident people act you have something more than a wishlist of what you want to be.
That list is an instruction manual.
Our internal feelings are largely decided by our actions. The simple act of putting on a smile can create positive physiological changes.
There is one more step to confidence though.
Once you put on that smile, it’s going to become more difficult to hold on to negative feelings and emotions but in stressful situations it can happen.
You also want to push yourself towards empowering thoughts.
Don’t let yourself get stuck thinking, “how am I possibly going to pass this test!?”
Sure… you can think it but remind yourself, “I’m going to kick ass!”
(Then make sure your body is still looking confident. If you think positively while your body is feeling it then your brain will start to believe it.)
2. No Stress Test Taking
“Oh… I know I know the answer to that one… what was it? Um…. argghhh… I think it was…”
Do you know that feeling?
(Only every single test you’ve ever taken, right?)
That is the death spiral of confident test taking.
You can go into a test feeling confident but if you let yourself get caught up thinking like that then you’re going to lose every drop of confidence you have left.
Once you know how to stop it, that kind of thinking doesn’t have to happen.
It’s easy to think more productively and all it requires is a tiny change in perspective.
Here is the trick:
Never go to a test looking to improve your grade on the test.
Once you step into the classroom to take that test, your score is decided.
You can’t study another second. Assume that it’s impossible for you to learn anything new. In your brain, accept that your score is already in the books.
All you’re doing on test day is filling out the forms to make it official.
What does that mean?
That means those hard to answer questions are already wrong.
If you don’t already know the answer to the question then you’re not going to remember it after five minutes of thinking. Trying could make you forget other important stuff for the test.
Notice that this isn’t completely true. Perhaps, you could learn something by messing with the question for twenty minutes?
It’s not worth it.
Learn your lesson.
If you’re struggling with a question then ditch it. If you’re willing to risk it then at the very least, never struggle to answer a question until you’ve answered every easy question on the test.
When you’re preparing for the test right, this kind of an attitude will rarely ever cost you any points. It will just keep you from falling into that death spiral.
3. Prep Like A Pro
You shouldn’t struggle to study for your tests.
If you’re struggling then you’re almost always doing something wrong.
This is the most complicated part of creating a solid test prep routine because the right way can depend on a ton of different factors. In fact, that’s what the hundreds of articles on this blog are trying to introduce you to.
I’ve written 3 books on test preparation and I still have more to say about it.
You don’t need to read 3 books to improve your test prep.
You don’t need thousands of strategies or any particular guidance.
The only thing you need is a willingness to try stuff until you find out what works for you.
Do you want to know where to get started?
First thing, sign up for our members area section (it’s currently free) and download your free copy of How To Never Study Again. It can help you understand the trickiest aspects of improving your grades.
Then look into these subjects:
How To Make This The BEST Semester Of Your Life
This ebook will go over:
- Become a “Shoo In” for straight A’s
- 5 biggest reasons students get bummed and give up
- How to get a top score (even if you’re failing assignments now)
- How to remember anything – the ultimate guide to memorization strategies
- Learn how a Late 1800’s chess virtuoso can memorize almost anything
- Why you screwed up in the past because of the things they forced you to do – and what to do instead
- Do you suck at studying – and what to do about it