One week before the scheduled date to take the University Selection Test, the psychologist of the University of Santiago, Víctor Olivares, delivers some recommendations, both for those who are going to take the exam and for their parents or close friends, with the aim of helping them to lower the anxiety levels that could boycott the result in the PSU.
Eat well, not too much, not too little.
“In the days before, the idea is to order the habits, that is, the daily things that have to be prepared in order to take a good exam. For example, food, at the correct time, as well as in quantity and quality ”, says the doctor in psychology, stressing that it is important to nutrition and avoid heavy meals before the test.
Sleep the necessary hours.
The psychologist highlights the importance of good sleep in intellectual capacities. And this implies “avoiding going to parties the days before the exam. It is better to isolate yourself a little, to focus and concentrate on the objectives ”.
Set realistic expectations.
“Frame the possible performance in realistic and coherent objectives with the study or work they have done. They have to have a self-inspection reflection, regarding the real possibilities that they are going to have and not create false expectations, because if not, reality can be quite cruel and there may be later complications, such as depressive symptoms or other emotional effects ”.
Maintain a routine.
“Form a kind of schedule, to maintain a routine that also prepares them in emotional terms. It is recommended that they think about how they should cope with the situation and this implies completing all the previous steps such as recognizing the room, the location, being familiar with the questionnaire, and perhaps also talking with people who have taken the test to be aware of the situation that they are going to find. That goes down the anxiety ”, assured Víctor Olivares.
Talk with the family.
It is also important “to talk about expectations, because in this way the intellectual level of thoughts is crossed and the emotional level can be reached, which is mainly related to the family or the couple. The idea is that they can converse it with a down-to-earth look. And in relation to parents, I hope they do not make false expectations and can talk, taking care of the emotional part, which means containing the fears of the children without overflowing them. It is about sharing visions and opinions, to lower the pressure ”.
Do physical activity
The preparation must be of mind and body, so the psychologist recommends "exercising a few days before, to release stress and be able to regulate sleep, sleep the right hours and hydrate with plenty of water."
Do not study in a hurry.
On the basis that what was not done in a year is not achieved in five days, Víctor Olivares suggests “not putting pressure on yourself in the hours prior to the PSU, or binge-eating. The important thing is that 48 hours before the study is cleared and the core of tension can be released ”.
Learn to relax.
Finally, the academic advises a successive approach to the subject. "The important thing for people who are greatly affected by stress, getting to have sleep problems related to fatigue or anxiety, is to do relaxation exercises." Therapists perform the Jacobson's progressive muscle relaxation method, which is simple relaxation exercises that go from head to toe, then make a mental association and over time, use it to achieve muscle relaxation. It is a mechanism typical of sports psychology, but if there is no tutor or monitor to advise it, the psychologist recommends exercising the days before, because it serves to relieve stress and ends up loosening the muscles.