Mindfulness. Relaxation. Calmness. Those are words that most high school students don’t usually associate with standardized test taking.
However, a new study by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbarahas found that the practices of meditation and mindfulness training just might help students when it comes to taking tests.
A recent New York Times article explains that the Santa Barbara researchers conducted a two week-intensive study in which undergraduate students went through an intensive mindfulness training program and as a result found that their “mind-wandering decreased and their working memory capacity improved.” These students also performed better on a reading comprehension test portion of the G.R.E. These researchers have also recently worked with some local high school students to see if the results could be repeated using the SAT.
While of course there are many questions being asked of this study (such as how long do the effects last) the next time you are getting ready for a standardized test it might not hurt to give meditation a try. Just remember, it should never replace test preparation or practice, only add to it. Even if it doesn’t help your score it might help you take some of the stress of the tests away.