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Reducing Test Anxiety

Updated on January 18, 2016

Exuding Confidence before a Test

REDUCING TEST ANXIETY. It is a common misconception shared by most people that as you take tests you should become anxious. As you think of this statement you should begin to assess yourself and see when were the times you felt very anxious, or calm and confident as you prepare to take your test. If you felt very anxious, more than likely you weren’t fully prepared. On the other hand, if you felt a moderate amount of anxiety you are likely to be better prepared. The feeling of calm and confidence, though not necessarily a done deal for scoring high marks in your exams, usually signifies that you are well prepared. Which of the three would you say you feel for the most part? If the answer is very anxious then you should begin to realize that you need to organize your time and work much more. If its moderately anxious, there is more room for improvement in the way you feel about your level of mastery of the content. If you feel calm and confident and you score high marks, then keep up the good work. When you begin to prepare for your test, you should begin to realize from the different scenarios above that you should assess your standing and act to improve it. Examine the tips below to see which you can apply to reduce test anxiety.
 Make a schedule for your test. When I was in teachers college, I used to start studying about 3-4 weeks before my final exams. Take the time to start studying a couple of weeks before your exams.
 Be sure you exercise. Physical exercise of some kind is important as you make preparations. Two very good exercises that I usually do before and even during breaks in a study session are crab walks and leg splits. If you are not able to go that far backwards
just bend your upper body backwards with hands against a wall to support your upper body. Hold each set to the count of ten. You can do this for about 5-10 minutes. It gives you so much energy!
 Chew gum. I have used the chewing gum to good effect not only in studying but also in exams. It can assist in not only relieving anxiety but also in keeping you mentally alert. The best way to do this is to pace your chewing according to how you feel. For example, if you feel very tired , you need to chew faster, if you are moderately tired ,you would then chew a bit slower.
 Ensure that the night before the test you sleep well. You can use the average time you normally go to bed or better yet, go to bed a couple of hours earlier so you can be well rested for your test. If your test is in the afternoon you have the chance to do some revision. If you do any intense revision before you do the test, it is recommended you sleep for a hour or two before you do your test.
 During the test. Read the directions carefully. Whatever questions you have that is not clear, please ask the instructor.
 Do some scanning . This will help you to determine the number of time you will allocate for each question. This is the approach you should take for all exams.
 Tackle the easier questions first. This approach will help you with setting the pace. This is because easier questions can be done in less than average time. This will therefore leave you with more time to utilize for the more difficult ones.
 Focus on questions. Take the time to focus on the questions that you are doing. A note of caution: Do not let others who finish the exam early, distract you from using the time that
is allocated. This is common for some exams, especially those which some students consider to be easy. Do not follow suit!
 Arrive early. This is a major factor in reducing anxiety. An early bird catches the worms, they say. Please! Never forget that not only does late arrival heightens your anxiety and leaves you with less time to complete your paper,but arriving after a certain time can lead to you been excluded from taking that exam.

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