5 ACT Stress Management Strategies

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ACT test day is stress-inducing if you aren’t ready for the stress beforehand. Thankfully, you can minimize your own ACT stress well before test day itself.

Use these basic ACT stress management tips before and during test day to calm down and effectively focus your mind.

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act stress management

Get Organized Right Before Test Date

Take the week before testing to get everything ready for the day.

Don’t panic about getting yourself ready for test day itself that morning. Take the full week before it arrives to get your affairs in order on what to bring and where to go.

The Friday night before taking the ACT, pack the following materials in a bag:

  • Admission Ticket
  • Photo ID
  • Two sharpened No. 2 pencils
  • Eraser
  • Approved calculator with extra batteries
  • Snacks
  • Water

Go shopping for everything that week if need be. Also, drive to your test center to have your route planned out and get familiar with the space itself.

Exercise And Meditate

Keep your body and mind in shape for less stress.

Here’s a tip that isn’t discussed enough in test prep – exercise frequently. Exercise releases endorphins, which are brain chemicals that reduce anxiety and increase euphoria.

If you’re feeling stressed out either before or after a study session, then break away and work out. This could be as simple as going for a run or bike ride or playing a pickup basketball game.

The activity itself isn’t as important as it makes you work out hard. Your brain will benefit from the endorphin release afterward to calm your nerves. Also, meditation through deep breathing is another known method to calm nerves and increase focus.

Eat And Sleep Properly

Take care of your body with sufficient rest and nutrition.

If your body tires, then the brain won’t be far behind. When preparing for a test date, get plenty of sleep. Adequate hours of sleep will reduce stress levels and increase your focus both during studying and on test day.

Moreover, on test day, eat a healthy breakfast with foods that will provide steady energy throughout the day. Also, bring along snacks and water for test breaks. Your brain won’t get distracted by hunger or low energy.

Don’t Focus On Other People

Keep your mind on your own test, not someone else’s test.

You will take the ACT in a room full of other students like yourself. It’s natural to feel a little competitive with them, which causes anxiety. Don’t fall into that trap.

Remember these things when observing them on test day:

  • Don’t worry about who finishes first
  • You’re there to finish YOUR test
  • Focus on doing your best
  • You’re NOT there to outscore everyone else in the room

Keep your focus on what you need to accomplish and forget about everything else except the time.

Relax The Day Before Test Date

Have fun and relax the day before taking the test.

Besides getting a good night sleep, enjoy the day before taking the test. You won’t benefit from turning that last day into an all-day, all-night cram session. Either you’ve practiced your timing and necessary skills enough or not.

If you have, then focus on resting your mind and have fun. Consider doing the following:

  • Going to the movies
  • Shopping
  • Go outside and hang out at a park
  • Spend time with friends

Basically, do anything that keeps you happy and stress-free. You will then sleep well and wake up ready and psyched to take the ACT.

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