4 Things to Do Before Your Next Assessment

You've studied hard and studied some more. You killed it on your last attempt at the preassessment. You know this stuff, and you're feeling good and ready.

But now that your scheduled assessment time is approaching, you get that nagging question: Could I be more ready?

When it comes to preparing for a test, there is of course no substitute for studying: reading, re-reading, chatting with course mentors, engaging in the course discussions and chatter, completing the simulations and case studies, diving into the modules and taking the self-check quizzes. But when you've done all the studying you can, what's the best use of your pre-test time?

How do you get ready when you're already ready?

Here are a four non-studying tips to help you prepare when you're already prepared:

  1. Take a walk. Studies suggest that 20 minutes of moderate exercise gets your brain pumping, boosting activity in your gray matter and making sure you're clear-headed and mentally energized.
  2. Chew gum. Smell and taste are closely related to memory, so one trick you might consider trying is to chew a distinctive, unique flavor of gum while studying and then chew it again while you're taking the assessment. The scent memory may trigger other parts of your memory as well.
  3. Get some zzz's. Good, healthy sleep is crucial to brain power, while sleep deprivation is clearly linked to impaired brain functionality and increased stress. Making sure you get 7–9 hours of sleep each night will help keep you on top of your game. And here's another Night Owl tip: Your brain is very good at remembering the last information you learned before falling asleep, so reviewing your notes or reading a chapter just before dozing off could maximize your retention levels.
  4. Have a healthy snack. Light, energy-rich food in your stomach will keep your energy levels up and your focus strong; but a stomach full of heavy foods will make you groggy. Almonds, berries, a veggie salad, whole grains... There are lots of smart options for a pre-test snack. Check out this list of five brain-fuel food groups for more ideas »

Do you have pre-test practices, tips, tricks, rituals, routines...? How do you spend the hours and minutes before assessment time? Tell us in the comments below—you'll be entered to win a Sage the Night Owl plush toy!

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