The Rules of Game Day Part 4: BrainStorm Tutoring NJ Free Resources
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The Rules of Game Day Part 4


This is the fourth in a series of five blog posts for the article, “The Rules of Game Day” by BrainStorm’s Chief Brainiac, Scott Doty.

In this series, you’ll learn test-taking tricks, tips, and find resources for further review.


IV. Before test day

From this strong place of aiming to achieve optimistic momentum—the kind of good vibes that propels one through a test with vim—we create logistical steps:

  • First, if we have a number of days or even weeks or months to prepare for Test X, we begin by doing a personal inventory: What is my typical prevailing mentality on test day? Become self-aware and begin taking pragmatic steps to arrest the persistence of unwanted habits: start a journal, get an accountability partner, utilize symbolic measures (“I’m using this new pencil and wearing these new shoes to symbolize that this is a new day!”), etc.
  • Second, learn the invaluable skill of giving yourself pep talks. Seriously.
  • Third, attack the academic material in earnest and learn the strategic pillars of this particular test; inculcate yourself, gain deep comfort with the material & strategy, so that on test day you need not worry about recalling them. These things should just “be there.”
  • Take as many full-length simulations as possible.

The night before a test, should we cram? Absolutely not! This only serves to feed one of the other, destructive mentalities—often that of Stakes. Do the work properly during the weeks and months prior to test day, and then use the night prior to establish optimism. For me, this means watching a goofy movie (I use “Dumb and Dumber”) with a good friend, and laughing a lot. I give my students a lot of latitude on this front—so long as they’re getting into a positive mentality, I am pleased.

Going to sleep much earlier than usual is discouraged—if the body has not been physiologically trained to sleep at 8pm, why get in bed at that hour? Chances are good you will simply lie there, growing frustrated and anxious. Instead, go to sleep perhaps just a bit earlier than usual, confident that you will fall sleep quickly.

Read more from The Rules of Game Day series:

This entry was posted in Brain Food, BrainStorm’s resource center for parents.
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