Since preparing for the SAT requires several hours of self-study and revisions at school and a review center, the whole effort can take a toll on your health. The fact that you have to deal with your other schoolwork and find time to spend with your friends and family can lead to more stress, which can further affect your wellbeing negatively.
But the last thing you want to happen days before and during the actual exam is to get sick. After all, you don’t want to see all your efforts attending your SAT test preparation classes and other self-reviews go to waste.
You don’t want to go through the process of reviewing again because you missed your scheduled exam date, as well.
Because of these reasons, you have to know that although it is crucial that you work hard to prepare for the SAT, you still have to look after your health.
Below are some tips for staying in good shape while preparing for your SAT:
1. Get enough sleep every day
No matter how much you want to finish your homework, study for a quiz the next day, and review an SAT topic, avoid working late into the night every day.
Sleeping late at night won’t help you the next day or do anything good for your health.
Bear in mind that adequate sleep helps boost your immune system, which will keep your body healthy. More importantly, when you get enough rest at night, you wake up feeling refreshed, energetic, and mentally alert and focused – ready for another day of learning.
Following a sleep schedule can ensure you get plenty of shuteye every day. Nine in the evening is the best time to stop working and start relaxing or head to bed.
Make sure you follow this schedule rigidly so that your body can get used to it and have no difficulties sticking to it every night.
If you have difficulty trying to relax at night, try turning off all the lights in your room, including light-emitting electronics or devices with lit buttons. Stop using or staring at monitors and screens, including handheld ones, for two to three hours before bedtime, since doing so can make it harder for your brain to relax.
2. Eat healthily
The foods you eat also affect your mental and physical health. Because of this, you need to watch your diet when preparing for the SAT.
Add more fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet since these are packed with all the nutrients you need to have a healthy mind and body.
Additionally, eat more lean meat, poultry, and fish, seeds, and nuts since they are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients that help support various brain processes.
These foods can also help stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent energy dips.
Try to eat these foods in your daily meals, even when dining out.
When snacking during your revisions, try to eat more of the foods listed above instead of chips, chocolates, and sweets. These unhealthy snacks may give you a short-term high; however, it will be followed by an energy dip that won’t help you concentrate on the task at hand.
3. Always have a healthy breakfast
A good breakfast can give you the energy you need for long hours of grueling schoolwork or a long day of exam, such as the SAT. It also fuels your brain, thereby allowing you to focus and think clearly.
Because of these benefits, make sure you eat a healthy breakfast daily, no matter how busy your day is or even if you are running late.
Below are some healthy breakfast ideas you can try:
- Eggs with wheat toast
- Low-fat yogurt with fruits
- Organic oatmeal with fruits, raisins, nuts, butter, and honey
- Whole grain breakfast cereals with low-fat milk
- Fresh fruits
Although you may think that you don’t have enough time to do all your schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and SAT self-review and prep classes, and relax, you still need to add another thing to your weekly schedule: exercise.
Working out regularly helps keep your body strong. It also improves your immune system, thereby ensuring you avoid getting sick no matter how much work you take on.
Moreover, whenever you exercise, your body releases endorphins – the “feel-good” hormone. These natural substances will enable you to feel happy and avoid the negative effects of stress.
If you like going to the gym, try to go there twice or thrice a week. Another option would be to take daily walks. Consider walking to and from your school every day instead of taking the bus if you live nearby.
5. Stay hydrated
Water can do wonders for your overall health. When your body is hydrated, you feel energized, ready to take on any activity. Because of this, try to drink at least eight glasses of water every day.
However, try to drink more water and healthy beverages such as herbal tea and coconut water to ensure you are hydrating your body correctly. Limit your consumption of caffeinated drinks, including sodas and sugary fruit juices, since these contain more empty calories and unhealthy sugars.
If you find the taste of water boring, infuse it with fruits, veggies, or herbs. Cucumber, lemon, and mint can add a refreshing flavor to this healthy drink.
Spending time with your friends and loved ones can do wonders for your health, as well. They can give you the emotional support you need as you go through several busy weeks of juggling your schoolwork and SAT prep activities.
A good way to combine socializing and preparing for the SAT is to review with your friends. Schedule group revision schedules with them once or twice a week. During these sessions, share workbooks and other materials and test-taking tips.
Additionally, take practice tests with your friends during these study sessions. After each mock exam, go over the results and discuss with them topics and test content that the group is having difficulties with.
Spending time with your friends and family in your free time is also another way of relaxing and de-stressing. As such, hang out with your closest peers: go to the mall, watch a movie, or eat at your favorite diner with them at least once a week.
Schedule a date with your family every week, too. Watch a movie at home or ask your parents if you can go to the beach or visit a park with them, so you can also relax and recharge for several hours.
When you have a healthy body and mind before your SAT exam, your memory and comprehension will work better. You won’t be distracted easily, too. Because of your improved mental abilities and focus, your chances of getting the SAT score you want will be higher.