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- Here are my tips for reducing stress
around taking important tests.
Tip one, build a habit of practice.
Building a habit of practice is super valuable.
I know I'm guilty myself of sometimes I get so caught up
with something, or I'm stressed about something,
that I almost freeze.
But it really should be the other way around.
I try to remind myself that, Sal,
if you put time in on a regular basis,
if I use things like Official SAT Practice
to take practice tests, understand my strengths
and weaknesses, work on where my weaknesses are,
and I do it on a regular basis,
that's my best chance of actually improving.
And we have studies that show there's a strong corelation
between students who are able to put in even six hours
and growing 50% more than expected.
So I really encourage you don't get too obsessed
with the outcome, but think about what can I do
on a regular basis, not all at once,
not binge-practicing, but what can I do
on a regular basis, day in, day out,
and you'll be really impressed
how much the gains will accumulate.
Tip two, share your feelings.
One of the things that it's taken me many years
to discover the wisdom of, and I hope to share it with you,
is whatever is going on in your life
that you think is unique to you, it's not.
It's probably happening in the minds
of everyone else around you, even those people
who look perfect on social media
and always seem to have their act together
and their hair perfectly combed and great grades,
they're feeling the same things, the same stresses,
the same insecurities in their mind.
They might even be feeling far more than what you are.
And so do yourself a favor and do them a favor
by being vulnerable and talking about it
and talking about how you can actually support each other.
I gotta tell you, even when I was a student like you,
and even today, as I try to navigate my own life,
by being able to have a support network,
people who I can commiserate with,
it really helps lower the stress.
And that's just gonna make you a healthier person.
But also, the more relaxed you are entering
into these tests, the better you're going to perform.
And tip three, keep a bigger perspective.
One thing that some of us adults often forget
is how sometimes stressful the stage of life you're in is.
Us adults, we say, oh, I gotta pay bills.
I gotta do this, I gotta pay the mortgage.
But I can guess what's going on in your mind,
'cause I went through it myself.
You're saying, hey, I've gotta do really good
on this test, because if I do good on this test,
then I might be able to have that opportunity.
If I do well with that opportunity,
then I'll get that opportunity.
And then my life will be perfect.
But if I don't do well,
well then that opportunity might not happen.
And then that opportunity might not happen,
and then what will I be?
Who will I be?
And what I'd like to tell you,
and I'm literally, I'm not making this up,
I have gotten rejected and I failed at far more things
than you can imagine.
And even though in the moment,
I sometimes thought all was lost,
a week later, six months later, a year later,
I realize that actually it wasn't that big of a deal.
And in some ways it was a blessing,
'cause maybe that wasn't the thing for me.
And so when you go into test-prep mode,
yes, of course, you wanna do as well as you can,
but that score isn't you.
It doesn't define you.
You are so much more than that one score.
You are so much more than what school you get into.
And I'll tell you a secret.
And this is after being out in the real world
for over 20 years.
I've actually haven't seen a big correlation
between where someone happened to go to school
and how successful they might be.
And I even did the successful in air quotes
because what society calls successful,
money, fame, all of that, I gotta tell you,
also does not correlate with real happiness.
Real happiness is knowing who you are,
doing what you can, but not getting obsessed with outcomes,
not coveting things, not coveting, I must do this,
I must do that.
Because no matter how much money you make,
or how famous or accomplished you get,
if you have that mindset, you'll never be happy.
But if you say, look, I'm gonna be my best self.
I'm gonna do right by myself and right by the world,
and things will play out as they see fit,
then you'll always be content.
And you'll actually be far happier than most people
on this planet.
So those are my tips for reducing stress
as you approach these types of tests
and a little bit of general life advice too.
I hope you take it to heart.
Take it with a grain of salt too,
but I believe that it might be really valuable.
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How to reduce test prep anxiety: 3 tips from Sal Khan

17 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 28, 2020
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