Build Mental Endurance for the ACT, GMAT, GRE, MCAT, SAT and Other Tests

Standardized tests demand much, including your ability to use your brain for a long period. For example, the LSAT is a total of 205 minutes of a brain workout, with a mere 10 to 15 minute break in the middle. It’s not enough to know the material well – you also must be able to do it well for a long time. To help build this endurance, consider the following:

Do all study under timing restrictions

A good way to get used to the test strain is to regularly go through it. For example, if you are studying for the LSAT do all of your LSAT study in 35 -minute sections, five sections straight, with a single break between the third and fourth periods. Many test-takers only follow these timing restrictions when they take practice tests. However, you can help build your mental endurance by also doing the same time restrictions when you work on specific question types, review the practice tests that you have taken, or any other test study.

Breathe deeply and regularly while doing test study

When people get tense, they often tighten up their chests and breathe shallowly. Clearly this is bad for your mental endurance. So, get in the habit of breathing deeply while doing test practice. By doing this regularly you will eventually start doing it without consciously thinking about it, and by the time you take the actual test, you’ll be breathing deeply and delivering plenty of oxygen to your brain.

Establish a regular sleep pattern

There’s a good chance that you’ll take the test in the morning. If so, then at least one month in advance start waking up early so that your brain is used to being conscious and working at that time. You should also consider doing your test practice at the same time that you will take the actual test as well.

Focus on the test

If your mind is on other things, such as work, school, family, or other things, then you’ll have trouble concentrating on the test because your mind wanders. Try writing down all the things that you need to get done during the day, or within the next week and when specifically you will complete those. This will free up your mind to focus on the test.

, Michael W. Stone ,