What to do About Test Taking Anxiety
Ever had test taking anxiety before a big test? Does it feel like butterflies or a twisting in your stomach? It is something that everyone has felt at one time or another.
Usually test taking anxiety comes from a fear of getting a bad grade on the test you are about to take. Or it might be fueled by the fear that you are going to forget something.
Taking a deep breath and giving yourself a moment to focus and relax, before the test, can help you overcome these fears. Breath in deep, close your eyes, and say "I will be okay. I am going to do well on this test."
Repeat this a couple of times if necessary. You don't have to say that phrase exactly. You can say whatever you want. The idea is to redirect your thoughts to something more positive and uplifting.
This will help to calm your nerves from the test taking anxiety you're experiencing.
Keep Things In Perspective
A test score is something that seems very important in the moment, but that becomes less and less important as time passes.
What is the absolute worst thing that could happen? You fail the test. That's it. You're not going to be mocked, laughed at, or thrown out of school if you score low on one test.
Just remember, a low test score is not the end of the world. It is definitely not the worst thing that could happen to you!
Of course, the best news of all is that you can control how well you prepare for the test. Preparing well for a test is the best medicine for testing anxiety or fear.
6 Ways to Overcoming Test Taking Anxiety
I have found that these things help me with my testing anxiety.
1) Preparing Well For the Test- there is no substitute for this one. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. This will build your level of understanding and confidence in the subject.
If you need some suggestions about how to study better for a test, see our 10 test study tips.
2) Relaxing- taking a deep breath before you go into the test will help you clear your mind. If you need to, you can take a break at any point in the test to clear your mind with another big breath.
Make sure that you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth for greatest benefit.
3) Consistent Studying- for better retention and recall of material, we must expose ourselves to it often. More frequent, shorter study sessions seem to work better than longer, cramming sessions.
Plus, procrastination and cramming usually add to your testing anxiety. Don't let them.
4) Frequent Review of Notes- use your in class and personal study notes often. Frequent reviewing will help you gain that exposure your mind needs to remember more.
5) Talk About Your Anxiety- just talking about it can calm your nerves. This isn't going to work just by changing your status on Facebook. I am referring to talking with someone face to face.
6) Write Down What's Bothering You- writing it down can help get it off your mind. You need to change the thoughts you are having, so write down what's got you worried and let it go.
On To Less Anxiety...
If you are having test taking anxiety, then know you're not alone! Tests make everyone a little anxious. There are ways to get over this kind of anxiety. Make sure to use the techniques on this page to help you have a calm mind when you take your test.
Good luck on your test!