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You are feeling veeeery sleepy

October 6, 2010
Ned Johnson

'Twas the night before Test Day, when all through the house
Emotions were stirring, with loads of self-doubt;
The pencils were stocked and sharpened with care,
The dread of the morning was too much to bear...

Ok, ok. Let’s not go there.

The SAT or ACT is not something to be dreaded. You will do well. You are going to college! A perfect score may not happen, and I cannot guarantee you a specific score, but I can tell you this:

There are specific things you can do to help yourself do your very best. Here’s lesson number one: sleep is good!

The two principal cognitive (nice geeky SAT word!) functions impaired by sleep deprivation are emotional control (“I’m freaking out here!”) and verbal retrieval (“What does soporific mean?”). Not surprisingly, this is not a great combination for a test-taking situation.

You can handle what the test throws at you and you can draw on the breadth and depth of your knowledge better when you are rested than when you aren’t. So, make it part of your plan to get a good night’s sleep for several days before the test. The test won’t seem so scary, you’ll handle challenging problems with aplomb (sorry, can’t help myself) and you’ll be able to remember more if not all of what you’ve learned.

Lastly, if you have a hard time falling asleep, study vocab! It’s soporific. (wink. wink.)
 

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