Your Gut Knows Best: How to Lean on Instinct for the Digital SAT

Your Gut Knows Best: How to Lean on Instinct for the Digital SAT

Sep 11, 2023

Trust your gut. You have heard this phrase, haven’t you? There is a reason behind this! The human gut is lined with more than 100 million nerve cells, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. Scientists were shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the fibers in the vagus nerve carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around! Your gut sends information to your brain!!

Why might it work for you? You know the material you studied, but you take the test and suddenly you're less confident and don’t know what answers to select. Learning to connect to your instinct can help you gain confidence and make decisions more quickly. Let’s try an exercise to help you to trust your instinct as you UNLEARN test anxiety!

You are going to start by thinking about a decision you have to make, phrase the decision as a question, and write out two choices you have for the decision. Label the choices as Option A and Option B. 

You are going to use something called Heart-Focused Breathing for this exercise. 

  • Stand or sit comfortably, relax completely, close your eyes, and place your hand in the middle of your chest, over your heart.

  • As you inhale through your nose for a count of 5, imagine that your breath is coming in through the middle of your chest, where your heart is.

  • Now exhale for a count of 5 through your mouth imagining your breath leaving through your heart area. 

  • Continue breathing in this manner until you find a rhythm

Imagine choosing Option A. Keep your attention focused on the area of the heart. Just observe how you feel in your heart. Warm and open? Tight and tense? Are you still taking deep breaths, or does your chest feel constricted? What do these sensations tell you about Option A? Do you feel energized? Do you feel cautious?

Now repeat the same process while you imagine choosing Option B 

Did you notice a difference? Did you feel a definite pull toward one of the options?

This exercise does take some practice to notice the sometimes subtle cues your body gives you. The first time you try this, try using the phrase “My name is ____” and saying the wrong name. Your options would be Yes (Option A) and No (Option B). This can help you get an idea of what you feel when the answer is right and when it is wrong. 

As you are learning to trust your instinct, try doing this 5-minute exercise  3 times a day.

The best way to prepare for the Digital SAT is to start off with a practice test. Upon completing the practice test, you will be able to set up a 15-minute Zoom call with an expert tutor to go through the results of the practice test and recommendations for how to prepare for your actual Digital SAT. Click this link to get access to the FREE DSAT practice test:

About Tina

Tina is the CEO and Lead Tutor at My2tor, a company that provides holistic standardized test preparation for adults and kids across the country and abroad. Her passion is to help students of all ages become more confident so they can increase their test scores and open the doors to their future goals. She uses her experience as an industrial engineer, math teacher, and 16 years as a professional tutor to develop her unique approach to helping test takers: developing a confident mindset, teaching strategies, and reviewing content. This approach humanizes test taking, decreases anxiety, and results in higher test scores.

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