Most people have some anxiety when they are taking an exam, but some people experience extreme anxiety that can hinder their performance. If you are facing a major exam and feel overly anxious, here are some tips for overcoming your anxiety and excelling on the test.
The number one defense against anxiety is preparation. The more confident you feel about the exam, the less anxious you will feel. Give yourself plenty of time to study in advance and work hard to learn the material. When it comes to the day of the test remind yourself that you have done the best you can and this is simply an opportunity to show off what you have learned.
On the day of the test or in the days leading up to the test, Study Guides and Strategies suggests to “strive for a relaxed state of concentration.”You should avoid talking with people who are negative or are discussing their own anxieties and pressures. Also, avoid any other stressors as much as possible. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready on the day of the exam so you don’t feel rushed. Eat well to encourage focus and concentration. Reviewing your notes can be helpful, but don’t try to cram the night or morning before the exam.
Huffington Post recommends exercising the day of the exam to help relieve stress. A quick run around your neighborhood or favorite workout video can help get your blood flowing, which increases oxygen to the brain. This may then increase cognitive function and improve focus. At the very least it will give you a little energy and help shake out some anxiety.
If you have trouble focusing during the exam, stop and try to relieve some stress through some simple techniques. Deep breathing can help relieve stress and focus your mind and body on the exam. You can also visualize success. Imagine the score you are hoping for and answering questions correctly until you feel calmer. Writing down your anxieties can also help you get them off your mind making it easier to focus on the exam rather than your nerves.
Have a plan in place if your anxiety should cause you to forget material, lose focus or feel overwhelmed. For example, if you don’t know an answer, move on to a question you are sure about and then go back and answer questions you didn’t know. When you answer questions you know, you will boost your confidence. As your confidence grows your anxiety may subside and you can think more clearly and recall material that will help you answer more difficult questions. As you relax and settle into the exam you can use your energy from your anxiety to help you focus on the test.
Take practice tests. Often anxiety comes from fear of the unknown. Important tests like the ACT and SAT have practice tests readily available. The more you can simulate the actual test taking environment and take practice tests under timed conditions, the more comfortable you will feel when it comes to exam day. Practice test are the best way to study and the best way to feel comfortable with the language and the style of the test.
When you know that test anxiety is a problem for you, you should get help long before the day of the exam. You school guidance counselor, teachers, or test prep course instructors will all have methods to help you overcome test anxiety.
Test anxiety doesn’t have to control what score you get on the SAT or ACT. With a plan in place and methods for relieving stress you can take a test and feel calm, focused and confident. Remember to prepare, employ simple stress relief tactics such as breathing or exercise, practice, and get help from your team.
Mr. Test Prep strives to prepare students with his Sunnyvale SAT Prep program. When students engage in his Sunnyvale SAT Prep program their scores reflect the hard work and dedication put forth. Call Mr. Test Prep today and be prepared!