How to Cope with Test Anxiety
Test anxiety interferes with our test taking performance. It usually manifests as a combination of physical symptoms and emotional reactions.
The physical symptoms include headaches, excessive sweating, shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat- all induced by an exam!
Emotional symptoms might include feelings of stress, fear, helplessness, disappointment, and negative thoughts.
Here are some strategies that may help reduce your test anxiety:
Study early: Try studying early to prepare for an upcoming test. Try to study at a similar place and time as when you’ll be taking the test, to better help you recall information. Also, try studying a little bit over time instead of cramming in your studying all at once.
Learn relaxation techniques: To help you stay calm and confident before and during the test, you can perform relaxation techniques such as deep breathing to help slow your rapid heartbeat or your racing mind.
Don't forget to eat and drink: Our brains need fuel to function. Eat a nutritious breakfast before your test to give yourself some energy. Try to avoid any sugary drinks or caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks or coffee, which can increase anxiety
Get plenty of sleep: Sleep is directly related to academic performance. Cramming late before the test or pulling an all-nighter can cause you to be more tired the next morning. A good night’s sleep usually ranges from 7-9 hours.
See a professional counselor: If your test anxiety is persistent and impairing, talk therapy or psychotherapy with a mental health professional can help you work through any feelings, thoughts or behaviors that may be at the root of your anxiety.
If your test anxiety is what brought you to this blog- you’ve got this!