First off, I get it. Standardized tests aren't fun. In fact, they can feel stressful, challenging, boring, pointless, unfair, whatever word you want to use. I understand that. I'm not writing this because I love standardized tests. Remember, I write because I hope to be a blessing and positively influence as many people as I can. And, as much as we may like or dislike tests like the ACT or the SAT, for the time being, these tests play major roles in how many options we will have in the future. Because they carry so much weight, it is important to spend some time preparing for them.
And that brings me to my first tip. It's so important to be prepared. No one knows exactly which questions will be on the test, but when you prepare, you will be ready for whatever the test may bring. What does that mean? Well, for me, that meant taking online and physical (pencil and paper) practice tests in the months and weeks preceding the test. Whatever that means for you, do that. If you know math isn't really your subject, don't let that stop you. Prepare by going over past tests and reviewing the topics addressed in past tests. (The questions change every year, but the general topics stay the same, so be prepared! 😉) Maybe you struggle with the reading section. That's okay. By reading more books, articles, and blog posts (like this one!) you can be more prepared for a reading test. I know you've heard this before, but your brain is a muscle, and with practice, it'll get stronger. So, practice, prepare, and go in confident!
Along with your confidence, it's important to bring a positive attitude on test day. I cannot stress this enough: you need to be positive. A positive attitude can change everything. A positive attitude can boost your confidence, it can keep you encouraged and motivated, and it can positively impact your performance (get it? Positively? 😉). In general, being happy makes life better, and it certainly will affect how you do on the test. Every day I smile, and I make a decision to live life happily. That's just what I do. I don't expect radical joy from everybody, but I do know this. Taking a moment to smile before taking that test will help you. So smile!
My last tip is perhaps the most important one. As with anything else in life, it is important to be prayerful to God about the test you are preparing for. It's really up to God in the end. He is the reason I was able to score a 36, that had nothing to do with me. Seriously. It was all because of what God put in me. He's ultimately in charge. By praying early and often, we show God that we recognize that He is in control of the situation. By trusting Him fully (something I am still working on in my own life) we allow him to take over and bless us through the test. It's important to pray about everything like the Bible says in Philippians 4:6, and when things are super important, I pray even more. I don't have enough time to explain the full power of prayer, that'll have to be another post, but I can say this. God works, and connecting with Him through prayer helps Him work in your life. So be sure to pray before and during the test, that way God will be with you.
So yeah. That's what I got. Go in prepared, stay positive, and always remain prayerful. I know I said these three tips are for tests like the ACT, but they really can be applied to life. Seriously, when it comes to everyday life, being prepared, positive, and prayerful is just as important as it is on test day. When you're prepared for whatever life brings, you don't have to worry as much. A prepared life is a better life, and I'm sure we both want you to live your best life, and that involves preparation. It also includes a positive attitude. Life not only feels better when you're positive, but it is better! It is! Living life happily really helps when things get hard. Keeping a smile on your face may be hard, but it helps you and the people around you feel great. And of course, living a prayer-filled life is so important, for prayer is when we get to communicate with God and not only speak to Him but hear what He has to say to us.
Oh, and I'll say this. My dad wrote a book called Raise Your GPA, and in it he talks about some of his principles that help young people succeed. You can check his book out here at his website. This is a great book, and it will change your life. Check it out if you want to live your best life and rise up to your potential 😉.
I hope these three tips can help you with whatever test you may face, literal or otherwise. Life will throw some crazy stuff your way, so keep these tips in mind whenever you're faced with some sort of test. Lastly, be encouraged! You'll do great in whatever you do, just believe in yourself, trust in God, and be prepared, positive, and prayerful. You got this! 😉