Reducing SAT Anxiety and Stress - January 2013

How to help reduce SAT stress and anxiety. A great read for parents and students alike.

By Mark Greenstein, Test Prep Advisor


Founder and Lead Instructor of Ivy Bound, January 2013

A parent remarked that his son had begun his SAT study with a combination of "zeal, anxiety, and stress". Let me address the "Stressed and Anxious" aspect:

Test Prep with Ivy Bound REDUCES stress/anxiety. We teach students new skills that will help in the areas they most worry about. And we get students to do practice tests, over and over. After 5 or 6 of these, students know what to expect of the test and what to expect of themselves ON the test. The anxiety about the "unknown" should evaporate.

A second anxiety, anxiety about the "importance" of the SAT, still often exists. That I can't eliminate; but since most students already know the SAT is important, now I can reduce that anxiety with this message:

Push hard, but know that if you fall short of full SAT success you'll still be successful beyond high school. You'll go to a good college somewhere, you'll have a career, you can marry well, your parents will still love you. In working really hard for SAT success, you will almost certainly have a higher level of success that you otherwise would see. So I like telling students who currently have mid-level scores (1550 - 1750): shoot for the 500 point improvement. If you fall short and "only" rise 350 points, you just GAINED 350 POINTS!

Even a 150 point improvement puts most students into a whole new tier of likely college acceptances, and/or higher scholarship award money.

Students who takes a "full throttle" attitude inherently reduce anxiety. That's because they are looking UPward at a hill they are beginning to climb. Falling down is not even a thought unless you are looking down from heights. Look upward, knowing there's a safety net below, and I suspect your anxiety will lessen.


Ivy Bound offers SAT "Boot Camps" throughout the Northeast and on 8 college campuses. Boot Camps get students to build SAT reading skills, to build SAT essay skills, to perfect their grammar, and to begin "reasoning" the SAT way.?? Each "Boot Camp" is open to students in grades 7 – 11. They include 3 hours of daily teaching and a mandatory 2 hours of daily self-study.

Parents who lack a private admissions counselor have the option to attend a one hour "Know the SAT / Understanding College Admissions" seminar the first Sunday of every month at 9:15pm eastern. Parents seeking to enroll their children for an upcoming class or for private tutoring, with the instructor coming to the home (or conducting tutoring by phone), can e-mail






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