Everyone experiences some test anxiety. In some cases, a little bit can even be good. The adrenaline response pumps blood to you brain and can help you think more clearly. However, too much anxiety can have the opposite effect. It can be paralyzing and hinder your performance. Here are five tips to help reduce test anxiety.
Practice tests are always a great idea. In addition to taking practice tests, you can also try to emulate the exam conditions. If this is a test that you have to go to such as the SAT or ACT, try to go to the testing site to see what the room will be like. Practice taking the test in timed conditions. Try waking up at the time you will need to on exam day and practice getting ready in time. The more unknowns you can eliminate, the better you will feel about the test.
Studies show that the simple act of writing down what is troubling you can help reduce test anxiety. The night before the exam write down all of your worries and get them out of your head so that you can focus on the exam.
Lack of sleep can hinder your focus and concentration. When you loose focus you can start to panic. Getting a healthy amount of sleep can help reduce the chances of panic and stress.
A few deep breaths can help you calm down quickly. When you begin to feel anxious, simply stop and take a moment to breathe. You can reduce stress and refocus your concentration on the exam.
Looking around the room and comparing how you feel with how you imagine other people feel can make you feel even more anxious. Even if people look confident or seem to be working quickly, you have no idea how they are actually feeling or performing on the exam. Do your best to stay focused on your own test rather than assessing how you seem to compare with others.
There is no way to entirely eliminate test anxiety, but you can manage it. These five tips can help you harness your test anxiety so that you can perform your best on exam day.