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Test-taking Tip: Stretch for Better Focus

Stretching before the real estate exam We've already explained the benefits of exercise and a good night's sleep when preparing to take your real estate exam. Now let's talk about something you can actually do during your exam: take short stretching breaks.

A certain amount of stress is unavoidable during any exam, but countless studies have shown that too much stress can have a damaging effect on mental function. But it's what you do to control that stress—both its physical and mental manifestations—that will make a difference in how stress impacts your performance. Today, we'll focus on managing the physical effects of stress during your exam with the simple act of stretching.

While experts differ on the best stretching method for athletic activity, there is little disagreement on the overall benefits of controlled, regular stretching for reducing stress and increasing mental focus. Stretching improves circulation by increasing blood flow to the muscle being stretched. This increased circulation, in turn, allows the muscle to absorb more oxygen and release toxins, thereby strengthening the body's resistance to fatigue and reducing the physical effects of stress.

Additionally, stretching releases certain hormones that make stored energy available, prompting a temporary increase in energy level and awareness. This reaction, combined with the reduction in physical stress levels, increases mental focus and centers the mind to create a sense of well-being. (And we all know this is the optimal mental state at for the real estate exam!)

Of course, during the exam, you won't be able to stretch all your major muscle groups. However, there are a number of both static and dynamic stretches that you can easily manage from your chair. For starters, check out these neck and shoulder stretches to get an idea. There are also great resources for general tips on stretching to achieve the best results.

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