Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished, LLC located at 21 Eliot Street in South Natick, Massachusetts discusses similarities between marathon training and test preparation.

  • You do not want to jump into rigorous preparation at week one of a sixteen week training schedule. Rather, you want to prepare and build you miles/study harder and longer gradually.
  • You don’t want to cram a few days before the test, nor do you want to run a 20 + mile run the week of the marathon!
  • On test day/marathon day, you want to move through the test steadily and pace yourself well.

Studying for a standardized and preparing for a marathon are really quite similar. This April, I recently completed my first marathon in Boston, and believe me, it was not easy. To cross both finish lines, you have to spend a good four to five months preparing, doing smart preparation. So here are some similarities between marathon training and test preparation training.

Take it slowly

When you train for a marathon, you don’t want to, in week one, go out of the gates and run a 20-miler. Okay? You’re going to collapse. It’s not going to work well. Similarly, when you train for a standardized test, you don’t want to dive right into rigorous preparation right away. You have to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Get familiar with the test format and the types of questions you’re going to find on the test. Once you figure out the road map, you can start studying harder and crank up those miles.

Don’t cram

Any marathon runner will tell you that if you run a 20-plus-miler the week of the actual marathon, you’re going to heighten your chance of injury. Similarly, you don’t want to cram for the SAT a few days before the big test. Cramming for the SAT could hurt your concentration and injure you mentally on test day. If you spread out your SAT studying over a series of months and get some ample rest, you’ll put yourself in the best position to ace the exam.

Set your pace

It’s the big day, and if you want to run a marathon, you have to run a smart race. That means on race day, you have to hydrate well and run at a relaxed and comfortable pace. Now, on test day, you don’t want to rush through the test and make a bunch of careless mistakes. That could hurt your score. Nor do you want to spend significant time on one problem. What you want to do is move quickly but carefully through the easy problems at the beginning, and then you want to slow down when you encounter the medium and difficult problems. Now, if you get stuck on any given problem, you’re going to circle that problem and go back to it if you have time. Like a marathon, on a standardized test, you’ll score the best if you pace yourself wisely from start to finish.

Okay, I wish you really good luck with your test preparation. And whether you prepare for a test or a marathon, just remember, prepare yourself well.

I wish you good luck, and I will talk to you soon.

Have you considered running a marathon? How else is marathon training similar to test preparation?

Post your tips/comments below.

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