How should I overcome test anxiety?
Last Updated: 08/06/2018 at 5:17pm
Jamie Rautenberg, LCSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
I'm passionate about helping clients understand emotional experiences & mental chatter do not define who they are. I'm here to guide them through the fog back to themselves.
Top Rated Answers
I get that a lot. I found a way around it though. I prep for the test as much as possible, carry water with me and I wear a ring that belonged to my grandmother. The ring and water are things I associate with calm, peace and so on. They help me to relax and focus. I also take a deep breath, close my eyes and think "you can do this" before I open the test paper. Calm and relaxing things that are allowed into the exam room (or wherever you're having the test) or calming habits (like my breathing thing) and prep for the exam should help.
Take deep breaths and try to relax, think of a beach or calm rain that will help anxiety before a test :)
Inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 6 which will oxygenate your brain and help you relax
Eat a good breakfast, breathe and before you go to take your test talk to someone in your life who believes in you and is inspiring to you. Stay positive and believe that your best is enough.
Test anxiety is a very common problem amongst many people. It ranges from a mild inability to concentrate to full manifestations of physical ailments on test day. In order to overcome any anxiety it takes time, practice, patience and drive. There are many free techniques that are available to people online. In some cases I've heard of people creating several mock-tests that they use before the real test to desensitize themselves. Others use slow, concentrated breathing techniques to calm themselves down. Exercising before a test can actually help calm you down and keep you focused on the task at hand. However, if your anxiety is very bad most schools and colleges offer assistance for people with poor concentration and anxiety needs. This can result in more time to take the test and being able to take it in a quiet unoccupied room. Talk to your guidance counselors or academic advisors about your test anxiety and they will help you come up with a plan.
Luckily for you, you aren't alone in feeling like this and others have come up with many helpful ways to overcome test anxiety! You should find the method(s) that work best for your individual anxiety. Educating yourself on your options and personal needs is step one. Do you need a quiet room away from peers? Extra time because you feel pressured by the clock? Someone to read the questions aloud? Facilites on campuses such as student disability services will have a plethora of resources for overcoming test anxiety. The best solutions involve education and preparation - so the more you prepare for the test the better you will feel about it. Preparation means more than studying until your eyes cross, it means take care of yourself and the way you learn to be tested - take breaks, take time to fully process new information, test yourself in a way similar to your teacher might. Personally I've recently learned the benefits of studying in the room you will eventually be tested in, so you can take control of the space and feel more comfortable on test day. It's important to realize that tests do not exist to torture you, they are not designed to make you suffer, but they are instead there to test (and actually build!) your knowledge of a particular subject matter! So revel in your education, love what you learn, and one day you can hope to accept tests face on, with the confidence of knowing what you need to do to succeed. Good luck!
Study with a friend:) friends always seem to make stuff less stressful because you have fun with friends
For me, studying the test beforehand would help. For tests like the ACT, SAT, and standardized ones, you can read past questions online. If the tests are for a class, you can review past tests and see what kinda questions they use, and try to find similar ones. Resources like Khan Academy are great, and textbooks often have a lot of practice problems that can help. Knowing that you're prepared can take a lot of stress off you.
A good method for dealing with test anxiety is to write down all the thoughts that make you feel anxious when you think about the test, e.g. 'I'm going to fail' and then write down alternative suggestions to that thought e.g. 'I got an A in the last test so why should I fail this one'. This can help you to realise that your anxious thoughts aren't always realistic and should hopefully help you to get rid of a few of them for good.
The best way to overcome test anxiety is to study as much as possible. Cramming works for some people but not most. I have test anxiety also. What helps me is keep something silly on my testing desk. I used to put a rubber ducky or a rubber frog. I put it there because it was so absurd that I laughed silently of course and was not nervous.
This is hella difficult sometimes but I've been trying out a method my psych prof suggested- fifteen minutes before the exam take a sheet of paper and bleed out all your thoughts onto it that'll clear you to go in ready to focus
Test anxiety is usually brought on by us believing we have not prepared enough for a test. We can overcome this part by studying a lot. Also the day before the test, study like 30 minutes before bed, and when you wake up study while you eat a good healthy breakfast, and before the test refresh your memory by taking a look over your notes. Prepare, Rest, and Energize.
Approach the test with a positive attitude and lots of confidence! (: Good test preparation will naturally increase confidence.
Make sure to start studying weeks in advance. Take deep breaths before the test. 7 seconds in and 8 seconds out.
Try doing some practice tests so that you have an idea of what to expect, do as much preparation as you can. Think about learning a relaxation technique to use before the test
Take deep breathe. Remind yourself about how hard you have worked for the test and reflected for a bit about how well you were your matter while revising. Tell yourself that you have the power to do well on the test. Stay hydrated and use the restroom before the test. Exercise an hour before the test if you can. This pumps blood to yoir brain and makes for more energetic and focussed.
Make sure to plan your study time to reduce stress, use breathing and mindfulness techniques. Logical thinking and regular breaks to eat and drink water.
Prepare hard, stop studying before couple hours from the test avoid drama have confidence and trust.
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