Five TED Talks You Should Watch Before Taking the SAT

Ted talks are amazing presentations by experts in various fields. They’re also great ways to waste time and not feel like a complete vegetable.

But did you know they can also help you on the SAT? These five TED talks are great ways to learn some last-minute skills and hone a healthy pre-test-day mentality…check them out!

1. Andy Puddicombe

andy puddicombeAll it takes is 10 mindful minutes

Meditation is a powerful tool in combatting stress, anxiety, and other everyday concerns. In this TED talk, Andy Puddicombe, who became a celibate monk, talks about the power of “ten mindful moments” of relaxation. Before your SAT, you’ll be sure to be a ball of stress and other annoying emotions. Learn to deal with them!

2. Maurice Ashley

maurice ashleyWorking backward to solve problems

Did you know that solving problems backward can actually be more effective at times? In this TED talk, Maurice Ashley, a chess grandmaster, shows us how he works his magic…and how you can take his mentality to make your everyday life easier. This can work wonders on certain SAT problems!

3. Joshua Foer

joshua foerFeats of memory anyone can do

This TED talk is amazing. Joshua Foer, a science writer, talks about how you can commit amazing feats of memory. What better place to use this technique than when studying for the SAT? A large portion of the SAT is about memorization…and a large part of school, too, unfortunately. This technique will prove helpful to you whenever you have a lot of information to retain!

4. Kelly McGonigal

kelly mcgonigalHow to make stress your friend

Stress doesn’t have to be your enemy. In fact, thinking this way can be detrimental to your health. Before your SAT, don’t be the kid hyperventilating into a paper bag, curled up on the floor, about to have a seizure. (I mean, I’m sure it’s happened sometime.) This talk is a really cool way to limit your stress—and possibly extend your lifespan.

5. Arthur Benjamin

arthur benjaminA performance of “mathemagic”

Here’s one for people struggling with completing the math section on time. Arthur Benjamin is an amazing mathematician who can compute numbers and solve problems with dazzling speed. And you can do it, too. This is about as entertaining as math will ever get. Unless you’re one of those people who enjoys math. In which case…


collin farrell 


These TED talks aren’t just useful to watch before you take your SAT. They’re useful for the rest of your education and the rest of your life, really. This isn’t even a complete list of all the TED talks that will be useful to you, so if you really want to learn a lot—just for the sake of it—take a look at the TED website. Browse through the talks there. It’ll be well worth your time.
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  • Maddi Lee

    Maddi is currently a high school junior in southern California. She is an avid freelance writer and has been featured in multiple literary publications and anthologies. When she isn't writing, she loves traveling, doodling, and most of all, sleeping. Through her own experience and passion, she hopes to help guide fellow students through the roller coaster that is SAT and college admissions...that is, as long as she survives the journey herself!

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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