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Molly Kiefer

SAT Last Minute Tips: Test Stress | Video Post

SAT last minute tips - Magoosh

The March 2019 SAT test date is coming up this weekend, and if you’re planning on taking the exam you may be feeling a bit stressed.

Now’s the time to go over last minute SAT tips, and we’re here to help you make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible on your big day!

In this video, Magoosh’s SAT expert Chris will give you 5 tips for calming down leading up to–and during–the SAT this Saturday.

Just click on the embedded video below to watch “SAT Last Minute Tips: Test Stress”.

Improve your SAT score; start your Magoosh SAT prep today

…Or scroll down for a full video transcript. 🙂

What Will I See in the “SAT Last Minute Tips: Test Stress” Video?

In this free 5-minute video, Magoosh’s SAT expert Chris will go over five strategies for letting go of stress to beat your test day jitters:

    1. Don’t stress about the stress!
    2. Create a postitive mantra!
    3. Remember to breathe!
    4. Take the test more than once!
    5. Treat yourself!

If you like the video, don’t forget to hit Like, and subscribe to the channel for more study tips. And if you have any questions about how to prepare the SAT, write to us in the video comments section, and we’ll answer with advice! 🙂

“SAT Last Minute Tips: Test Stress” Full Transcript

Hi, this is Chris, the SAT expert at Magoosh.

I have over 15 years experience helping students ace this test.

And today, I have five tips on how to manage Test-Day stress.

So imagine you have this magic button, as soon as you pressed it, all your stress would just melt away.

Wouldn’t you wanna press that button test day?

Well actually, you wouldn’t.

The first tip is, that a little bit of stress can actually help you.

Researches have found that if you’re very mellow, too relaxed, you’re not gonna perform nearly as well as if you have a little bit of stress in you.

Now that’s not the same thing as bad stress, in which you’re freaking out that you’re gonna do bad on the test.

Oh my God, it’s the SAT, [SOUND] that is bad stress.

We want this good level of stress to keep you in that zone so that you can focus for four hours.

And this is also important because if you are stressed, that’s not a sign that something is going wrong.

That means you could very well be in the zone.

So, embrace the stress and know it is not a bad thing but it can help your test day.

Now that we’ve talked about the good stress and the bad stress.

How do we know which one is which, and when we’re experiencing one?

Well, if you are having a lot of negative thoughts rushing through your head, then you know you are experiencing the bad stress.

Oh my gosh, I’m so bad at math.

[SOUND] I should have studied more last night.

Totally gonna bomb this.

These are all negative thoughts and what they’re doing is they’re actually feeding the bad stress.

And they build upon each other.

And within a few minutes you could be far more stressed out just because of these negative thoughts going through your head.

So the key, catch these negative thoughts before they start snowballing into the bad stress.


Well, give yourself what’s called a mantra.

A mantra’s an expression that you say over and over again.

But instead of a negative one, we want a positive one.

Such as oh, I got this, or SAT, I own you.

Now I know that sounds a little bit cheesy, but try it, I promise it will work wonders.

Okay, now that we learn that bad thoughts can affect your stress level.

We’re gonna talk about something that can affect your stress level even more.

How you breathe.


Now when you’re taking that SAT passage, and you’re trying to read it, and trying to understand this complex passage about science.

What’s happening to your breathing is it’s becoming shallower and shallower, faster and faster.

And your pulse, your heart rate is speeding up, higher, higher, and higher.

You can even see just now me, describing that is probably kinda stressful.

I feel stressed out.

And that’s what’s happening to you.

So how do we get out of that stress sleep?

Well, I’m also happy you asked cuz I got a great technique called the four, seven, eight.

So four, what does that stand for?

That stands for the number of seconds that you’re inhaling through your nose.

Seven, what does that stand for?

The number of seconds that you are holding your breath.

And then finally, eight, the number of seconds that you are exhaling that breath.

[SOUND] I feel better already.

There it is, the four, seven, eight.

Do a few reps of those, if you’re done with that reading passage or even during the break instead of just staring at the wall.

Do your four, seven, eight exercise.

So the next tip is give yourself the opportunity to take the test more than once.


Well, if this is gonna be the only time that you take the SAT, that negative voice that says, oh my God, this is the only time we’re taking the SAT.

It’s gonna be louder and much harder to put down.

And therefore, if you give yourself a little bit of wiggle room, a little bit of patting.

By also knowing that hey, three months from now during March, I’m gonna sign up for that SAT as well.

It makes the current SAT not nearly as stressful.

Okay, tip number five.

I want you to think of the thing that you enjoy doing the most.

So let’s say you have a Sunday all to yourself.

You go out and get a huge shock at Sunday, do you go shopping with your best friends?

Maybe you sit at home and binge out on Netflix.

It doesn’t really matter.

You know yourself best and you know how to treat yourself.

And this is important because you obviously prepped for a really long time.

And even if it hasn’t been super long, you’re sitting through this four-hour test.

And therefore knowing that you’re about to get a treat.

You deserve this treat, you’ve worked hard for it.

That can keep that stress at bay.

And it can help you not take the test too seriously cuz you know that they’re very soon are treat in the future for you.

If you like what you saw today, then follow the link in the description below.

That will take you to

Where we have a full curriculum that has helped thousands of students ace the SAT.

If you want more tips then click on the videos to the left.

Looking for more SAT strategies?

Take a look at some of our other useful SAT study tips for preparing for your big test day:

Improve your SAT score; start your Magoosh SAT prep today

Good luck on the test! 🙂

About Molly Kiefer

Molly completed her undergraduate degree in Philosophy at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She has been tutoring the SAT, GRE, and LSAT since 2014, and loves supporting her students as they work towards their academic goals. When she’s not tutoring or blogging, Molly takes long walks, makes art, and studies ethics. Molly currently lives in Northern California with her cat, who is more popular on Instagram than she is.

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