The SAT and ACT require mental stamina and problem solving. Aside from mastering the  test content, applying test techniques under time, to achieve a perfect score on the SAT or ACT requires clear thinking.


The two core components of both the SAT test and ACT test are speed and accuracy.  Ensuring you have a strong and adaptable mindset is an asset on the exam. This is why mindset is at the core of A-List’s holistic tuition philosophy and student improvement.


You want to be fresh, alert, and focused on the SAT and ACT to allow you to work as precisely as possible. 


Here’s how to do this:



During the Test


1.     Awareness of purpose: what is the question asking? Underline or write out its key words to ensure you focus on them.

2.     Attention to the present question: after completing a question, a section or a passage, practice implementing one action consistently to train your mind to understand that that question/section is done now. After a question, perhaps add a cross or some kind of on the question paper (NOT the answer sheet!); after a Reading passage, take a deep breath and a sip of water. Then let go of those questions and move on. 

3.     Non-judgemental attitude: by focusing one question at a time, we let go of our judgements and worry about previous, difficult questions. You put yourself in the strongest position by focusing intently on closely reading the question in front you.



During the Breaks


Use test breaks to enhance performance: drink water, eat snacks that are high in protein, move and breathe.



It is crucial to listen to your body as you refocus: are you thirsty? Almost certainly! Drinking water in the breaks helps your brain perform better once the test begins again. Similarly, refuel your body with snacks: you are spending large amount of energy in the test – you must give your body the fuel that it needs. Bring snacks high in protein rather than sugar. Finally, get up and move around the test room: do a little jog out in the corridor – anything to get the blood flowing back around your body and to your brain. Then, before the test begins again, practice some deep breaths and focus on your top three strategies for your next section.


We hope these tips empower you for success on your next standardised test. If you would like to practice these with a professional tutor or practice implementing them in a full, proctored practice test, please contact our Client Service Team.

Mindfulness Techniques for the SAT and ACT
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