Ways to Avoid Test Anxiety
Feeling nervous or stressed as you glance at the first question on your test? Having trouble remembering what you spent hours and days studying for?
These struggles, in addition to other physical and emotional factors interfering with taking tests, are known as test anxiety. Many students experience test anxiety - regardless of how much time they've dedicated to studying.
Wave goodbye 👋 to test anxiety with these helpful tips to feel confident in the classroom!
Preparing for Tests
A main contributor to test anxiety is the feeling of unpreparedness. It's important to study well ahead of any test! Create a plan with a detailed study schedule and hold yourself accountable. Preparing several days in advance can help with avoiding cramming and pre-exam anxiety, and reviewing test materials in advance can help you feel confident when entering the test room.
Leading up to an exam, simulate an exam-like experience by taking sample tests in a quiet and timed environment. Don’t check your work until the practice exam is complete, and be sure to self- assess your work. By doing so, you are not only effectively studying for the exam by identifying topic weaknesses, but you are also growing familiar with the testing environment, eliminating factors that can add to the nervousness of tests.
Food and Sleep
Before the test, try to avoid “jittery foods” such as coffee or sweets. Although you may feel like you need to be energized before the test, these foods can add additional stress to the brain. Instead, eat a balanced breakfast and feel rested with a good night’s sleep beforehand. This way, when testing, your focus will be on the test itself - not your foggy brain, droopy eyelids, or your shaking knees.
Don’t forget about the necessary supplies you need. Be sure to pack pencils, erasers, highlighters, and calculators beforehand. Having to ask around for these materials minutes before the test is not the best idea - and not guaranteed!
During the Test
Take Deep Breaths
When feeling nervous or unable to think, take a few deep breaths and count to three. This will help center yourself and put you back into the grind zone.
Process of Elimination
In multiple choice tests, start by eliminating answers. Which answers are for sure wrong? By thinking through these steps, the correct answer is more likely to appear.
Questions and Key words
Make sure you are rereading questions and underlining/highlighting key words for clarity. You want to make sure you are answering the right question. Without fully understanding questions, mistakes are more prone to occur.
Noting the Time
Make sure you are keeping track of time. Every few questions, look up at the clock. You want to get through all the questions before your exam ends. Don’t spend too much time on any one question. It’s ok to come back to the question with a fresher mindset.
With these simple tips and tricks, you are now ready to tackle your next test, feeling prepared and confident during exams.
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