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Tips for Test Anxiety

Updated on April 29, 2015

Although being a little nervous during a test is normal, when a person has a certain fear of failure that nervousness can escalate to test anxiety. I suffer quite often from different types of test anxiety. I will quite often know the material very well but during the test find myself going blank, perspiring, or starting to breath unevenly and heavily. Test anxiety is an overwhelming fearful, stressed emotion towards and exam or quiz. Test anxiety can have many causes such as loss of sleep, lack of preparation, lack of organization etc. However sometimes test anxiety's cause cannot be explained. How can test anxiety be conquered? I learned that it is all a mind game, and if I can switch certain thoughts then I can improve my overall feelings and performance.

5 Tips for Test Anxiety:

Give Yourself Time

I find that if I start my studying at least a week before the test I will overall have a better score and piece of mind. Giving yourself enough time before an exam can help with organization, understanding, and planning. Plan out what you are going to study, where you are going to study, and who you are going to study with. Also give yourself a day that is during the professor's office hours to go in and ask questions or grab a better concept of certain areas that are troublesome.

Get Into A Study Group

I never really realized the benefits of a study group until I entered my first college Microeconomics class. The intro to the material was very difficult for me to understand, but found that if I was in a study group with others, I would walk away with a much higher understanding. Study groups have two main benefits in my opinion: First would be having someone that understands the concept better than yourself; so they can explain it to you. Second is that if someone doesn't understand a concept you can explain it better them and resulting with you both gaining understanding of the material.

Make A List

Many times anxiety has a strong correlation with feeling overwhelmed. Making a list or schedule with times to study and also all the other events that are going during that period can help one feel more in control of what is taking place. Having a list will make you not feel so "scatter-brained" and be able to focus better.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

In college sleep is sometimes hard to come by however, during an exam period it is very important to get a full night's rest. When I lose sleep, I find that I lose my patience and focus on concepts and will give up a lot easier than if I am well rested. Recharging will help the brain be able to focus and retain new knowledge better.

It's Only One Test

When it comes down to it, remember that it is only one test. When the test is turned in, you can just put it behind and move forward. Know that you prepared as much as you could have prepared and take a learning experience from it. Future employers will never ask what your score was on your intro to philosophy midterm.


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