Updated: Oct 22, 2019
Before we begin, let's just remind ourselves that I'm not a doctor and this isn't medical advice.
This is a post for the ladies. (Though, fellas, you're welcome to stick around if you want to see how the other half lives!)
Alright, here's the deal: most of us dance through life trying to pretend that hormones aren't a thing, like our moods don't vacillate between:
So now you might be thinking, "Great, I won't take the SAT when I have my period."
BUT WAIT!!!! THERE IS SO MUCH MORE!!
Your body cycles through four different phases each month (or 28 days, or however long your cycle lasts), and your body is in a unique state during each one.
Menstruation: A.K.A. your period. A good time for self-reflection. Maybe not the best time to take a life-changing test.
The Follicular Phase: If I had to take the SAT again, this is when I would do it. This phase technically begins when your period does, but stretches out after it ends. Specifically, I'd pick the time right after my period ends. The hormonal changes cause a spike of estrogen, which make you extra creative and energetic. I feel like I can do anything during this phase.
The Ovulatory Phase (a.k.a. The Social Butterfly) - This is when your chance of getting pregnant is the highest. Even if you have zero interest in this, your body doesn't know that, so you tend to be more sociable, confident, and (some people say) attractive during this phase. One study even showed that you can better interpret people's facial expressions! The flip side is that you might find yourself more easily distracted and having a harder time concentrating on minute details, like, say...the SAT/ACT.
The Luteal Phase - I think of this as two phases. Some women feel powerful during the first half, so you could also consider this time for the test, but the back half is rarely fun. You probably know it as PMS! I wouldn't personally take the test during this phase.
So, how do you implement this information?
It starts with tracking your cycle to get an accurate idea of how many days it is. Personally, I use an app — even now, I find it helpful to know why I feel certain ways.
That being said, we're all different, and all sorts of things can impact your cycle. The phases above are just rough outlines. The best person to talk to about your body and your health is your doctor.
One more thing: basically none of this information was widely known until very recently. Even now, most people probably don't know about this.
So don't worry if your test is already scheduled. Many women before you have pulled off far more challenging tasks, and we will continue to do so, during all four phases of our cycle. You can, too!
This is just a little tip to give you an extra edge, because why not?