From the SAT to the GRE and beyond, standardized test taking can be an extremely stressful experience. Too much pressure can keep you from doing your best on your standardized test, so make the necessary arrangements to get yourself to take the test comfortably. The following tips can help you prepare to take your exam to the best of your abilities:

1. Practice

No matter how comfortable you feel with a certain subject, it’s always a good idea to take a few practice exams to really understand how the test works. Knowing what to expect when you arrive at your testing center will keep you from panicking at the sight of an unfamiliar format.

2. Make flashcards.

Flashcards are a great way to quiz yourself on content as you study for any kind of exam. The process of writing out the information will also help you remember it. If you prefer a digital format, sites like Quizlet let you make your own flashcards for free!

3. Use the process of elimination.

If you know an answer is incorrect, cross it out immediately. Being able to eliminate a few wrong choices will improve your chances of guessing the correct answer when you may be unsure

4. Read all the answers in their entirety.

It might be tempting to see a correct answer and immediately mark it as your final answer, but take the time to glance at the other choices. There may be two or more correct ones, with the option to select “All of the above.”

5. Time yourself

Once you’ve gotten the content down and understand the format of an exam, work on improving your timing. Most, if not all, standardized tests are time, so simply memorizing content isn’t going to be enough to get you your best score.

6. Get enough sleep the night before the exam.

Don’t stay up all night cramming for the test. Exhaustion will negatively affect your concentration, so make sure you’re well-rested!

7. Make time for breakfast.

Make sure to wake up early enough the morning of the exam to have breakfast - running out the door with coffee in hand doesn’t count! Try to avoid sugary foods, and, instead, opt for a high-protein option.