Hi Mike, I think I have every skill needed to score a 2400. I’ve devoured tens of books (including yours), and I never score less than a 2350 on full-timed, 10-12 sections, practice tests. Yet, on test day I go like “I’ve lost my mojo!”. (Well, not exactly on test day. I actually think I did pretty well when I leave the test center. I think it’s score day that’s disappointing). I think some part of this has to do with my confidence on the test, I’m a little shaken on test day. My current score is 2250, and I’m taking the May 2nd test for the last time.

1- What do you suggest to help boost my confidence and relieve the anxiety?

2- Do you think there’s something else (other than the confidence issue) that needs to be sorted out?

A few thoughts here. First, and probably most important, is that there’s very little difference, in terms of how many questions you miss, between 2350 and 2250. 2350 could be 2 questions wrong on the whole test. That’s pretty darn good. 2250 could be as few as 5 or 6 questions wrong. So while it feels like a huge difference, on such a long test, it’s not like you’re totally falling asleep at the wheel. That’s why most folks (me included) generally say that once you’re above 2250, you can be done with the SAT if you want: you’ve achieved a score that will cause any admissions officer, anywhere, to take you seriously.

Second, I unfortunately don’t have any great suggestions for you about confidence/anxiety. If you’re really reliably scoring 2350 on your practice tests and you’re still not confident, then I suspect that you’re a bit of a catastrophic thinker in general. You will have to learn to overcome that to give your peak performance. Meditation or some other relaxation technique might help. So might a lot of exercise. There’s no one answer for this kind of thing. Once you’ve identified the problem, all you can do is experiment until you find a solution that works for you.

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