The SAT: The Stressful Anxious Teen

Cassie is a 16 – year old from Los Angeles, CA.  She enjoys acting, playing guitar and spending time with her younger brothers. Her favorite subject is English because she wants to be a writer.

It’s that time of year again.  High School Juniors run around campus dragging along their two-inch thick SAT preparation book with exhaustion and anxiety stretched across their faces.  Two days before exam day, these stressed teens bury their heads into their books in hopes of cramming SAT tips/tricks into their tired minds before taking a three and a half hour test that supposedly defines their future!


Sound crazy?  Not to your typical college bound student, nowadays.  The intensity of college admissions has gotten many teenagers overly anxious about this single exam.  Some families pour hundreds and even thousands of dollars into popular Test-Preparation classes and private tutors.  Often times, one may feel under prepared if she wasn’t spending her Wednesday afternoon reviewing vocabulary words with a tutor.


Here are four tips/reminders to ease your nerves regarding this hyped exam:


  1. You’ve been preparing for this test you’re entire life.


It’s true!  If you’ve ever read a book or used a calculator, you have done at least some preparation for the SAT.  Every single lesson at school has been designed to prepare you for the material on this test.  No amount of test prep classes or tutoring can substitute the ten years you’ve spent in the classroom. It is now up to you to practice how to use this information you’ve been harboring all these years.


  1. Practice makes perfect.


Take a timed practice test under real exam conditions.  Set up a quiet space on a Saturday morning and assess your diagnostic scores to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. has great resources including a full-length practice test, mock questions in each subject, and a “Question of the Day.”   Attempt SAT practice questions and familiarize yourself with the type of questions you will encounter on exam day.


  1. Enjoy you’re studying.


Whether you’ve signed up for test prep classes with a group of your best friends or you’ve decided to study alone in the library on Sunday mornings, try to enjoy your time.  Expand your vocabulary by reading some pleasure books and thoroughly analyzing the language of certain passages.  Look up words that you can’t fully define and try to use new words that you discover in everyday conversations with friends.


  1. Bring a snack on test day!


You don’t want to the stomach-grumbler in the classroom on Saturday morning!  Be sure to have a healthy breakfast and bring some snacks to keep you awake throughout the three and a half hour long exam.  Get a lot of rest the night before and take your time during the test. You don’t lose points if you omit questions, so it’s okay if you can’t answer them all.



This test is only one factor in your college admissions process.  Your college application will have various opportunities to showcase your academic talent.  Take your head out of those heavy books for a second and take a deep breath. Prepare early, prepare rationally, and you will be successful.



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