Three Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before Your SAT Exams

Guest Contributor
Published on
July 8, 2024

Exams can be daunting, particularly those that have the power to shape your future in academia and the workplace. Achieving ahigh grade in your SATs can help you to secure a place in college, so it’s important to try your very best. Of course, this pressure can be nerve-wracking, but by following a few helpful strategies, you can overcome any exam-related anxiety and tackle your exams with confidence.

Make sure you’re prepared

First, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re adequately prepared to take these tests. Often, we feel nervous as a result of not knowing the course content well enough, and not feeling confident about how well we’re going to perform.


Feeling that we’ve made the most of our study time can help to combat these feelings, as the better prepared you are, the less there is that could possibly go wrong. If you’re struggling to focus on your learning in the lead-up to your exam, try making a study timetable – structure it so that you’re allowing plenty of time to focus on each section (reading, writing and language, and math) and take prep tests to track your progress.

Take care of your mind and body

It’s important to look after yourself when feeling anxious or stressed. It’s easy to get into a cycle of negative thinking, which will never be productive – it’ll only lead to burnout and make it harder to focus on your exam prep.


Take regular breaks while studying to look after your mind and body. You’ll want to set aside some time each day to exercise, and perhaps a couple of hours to indulge in self-care. Having plenty of time to unwind is important to calm your nerves, plus, it’ll help you to restore your energy levels for the next day.


Don’t forget to eat well during this time. Unhealthy foods and drinks like junk food, sweets and coffee are likely to exacerbate your anxiety, because of the high sugar and caffeine content. Opt for healthy foods that’ll promote brain health instead, like fruits and vegetables, eggs, fish and dark chocolate.

Connect with your peers

We all know the saying, “A problem shared is a problem halved”, and this is especially true when it comes to sharing your exam-related woes. Simply having a chat with your peers and keeping up with your friends can help to alleviate stress considerably, whether they’re also going through the process or not.


Having someone to talk to can put your nervous feelings into perspective. It can be helpful to learn tips and tricks from others, plus, having a support network you can rely on can provide you with a healthy outlet to blow off some steam at the end of a long day spent studying.

In Conclusion: Do Your Best

It’s normal to feel some amount of anxiety in the lead-up to your SAT exams. However, if the thought of your exams is causing you significant stress that feels overwhelming, it’s best to reach out to your school or a trusted person for support. Prep as thoroughly as you can, but remember that all that matters is that you do your best.

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