Almost all of us have done it. You thought you were prepared for the test, you felt comfortable with the material, the test is put in front of you, the adrenaline starts pumping, insecurities rise to the surface, and the stress of the moment wins out. This test is blown, you studied and studied, but like the famous concert when Jim Morrison was booed off the stage, you choked!
Why does this happen? Well the science on it is kind of interesting. There is an actual choke factor, brain rhythm. Now that science allows us to look at where the brain is firing, we see that there is a recurring brain rhythm that happens before a “choke” moment.
Well great you say, how does that help me? The answer is, because through the research, there is an actual routine that if you follow, can cure the choke factor! This is what to do on test day:
Get Rest, one of the biggest mistakes a student makes, is thinking that if they stay up late and cram, they will do better on the test. Often this is done because they feel they have not studied enough on the subject, as they should have. Many students feel that going over material multiple times will make it stick more, so they will stay up late and stress their body, and mind. This does not work, worse it leads to students seeking stimulants that will keep them awake. This type of behavior, is what led to the death of a college student, from using powdered caffeine, just this week. So teach your child this behavior will not work, and guide them to get the proper amount of sleep the night before a test.
Self Hypnosis, or Meditation, which ever you prefer. It is important to have confidence, before a test, so I prefer self hypnosis, which allows your child to suggest to themselves, that they are a confident test taker. If you are wise add a left shoulder “tap trigger”, that suggests confidence, and use it right before the test. Research has proven both hypnosis, and meditation, which are similar, relaxes your student from stress, a prime factor in choking on a test.
Hydrate, once again I bring up water, as an important factor of your child’s intelligence. I have seen under hydrated children pass out, so how is an under hydrated child suppose to do well on a test, when their brain needs as much oxygenated blood as possible? Teach your children to wake up with a glass of water, and to have water to hydrate themselves during the test.
Avoid Sugar, and Processed Foods, including the sugary cereals, before a test. These foods give a boost of energy, that is not sustainable, and cause a crash. If your child gets drowsy how will they do well on a test? Better to eat a plant based grain, cereal without added sugar. Natural 100% peanut butter, is a great choice, instead of butter or other fats as a spread. Be careful though many peanut butter brands use lots of sugar, and almost all of those hazelnut spreads are loaded with it.
Review the Test Material, silently in your mind. All of the RockUrBrain students are taught to review their Body Game Board, before a test. That is the nice thing about my memory training game. Your body is always with you, so you can be on the bus to school, and review better than if you had flash cards! How ever you study, it is good to review the material, using your internal senses, before a test.
Show Up On Time, feeling rushed adds to stress levels, and stress triggers the choke factor, so avoid both, by planning to get there on schedule.
Write In A Journal, the latest research has shown that those students who spent just a few minutes before a test, and wrote in a journal, interrupted the brain pattern that I wrote about earlier that has been shown to cause the “choke.” So by just taking a moment to write about anything that is on your child’s mind, in their journal, whether it be that they get nervous during tests, or they are excited about the weekend, it does not matter. The act of journaling, right before a test has been shown to increase the final score! If you care about your child’s grades have them do this every time, right before a test.
Want to improve your child’s memory on tests, and cut down on their study time? Go here and sign up for a free “E” copy of my book Don’t Rack Your Brain, RockUrBrain – Fun Memory Game: www.RockUrBrain.com/free