It’s almost test day, the first step of what’s sure to be an exciting new adventure! You’ve worked hard to prepare and you feel ready, so don’t let minor distractions get in your way come exam time. Here are five tricks to maintain your focus and achieve your best when it counts most:
- Practice concentrating: Each day, take some time to eliminate all distractions and concentrate on a single task. Start by trying to commit your full attention to something for five minutes, then work up to longer stretches of time. If you find your mind wandering, just return to the task at hand.
- Know what to expect: Coming to the test with an understanding of what you will be asked to do will help you focus. Take time to review the instructions and time limits for each section of the test before your test date. Here are some TOEFL® test basics.
- Get plenty of exercise: We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Exercise is one of the single most effective ways to maximize mental performance. Studies have found that regular exercise releases brain chemicals that are key for memory, concentration and overall mental sharpness.
- Focus on one question at a time: Don’t waste energy thinking about how you did on the last question, or how you will do on the next one. To obtain peak performance, you want to put all your concentration into one task at a time.
- Visualize taking the test: Mentally rehearsing a task will help you feel calmer and more confident when it comes time to actually do it. A week or so before it’s time to take the test, spend 30 seconds to one minute each day visualizing every aspect of test day. You can find more information about what to expect, including an inside look at a test center, here.