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Managing Test Anxiety

What does Test Anxiety feel like?

  • Some students experience mainly physical symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, faintness, feeling too hot or cold, etc.
  • Others experience more emotional symptoms such as crying easily, feeling irritable, or getting frustrated quickly.
  • Test anxiety may effect your thinking ability. It can cause you to ‘blank out’ or have racing thoughts that are difficult to control.

What can you do to control Test Anxiety?

  • Be well prepared for the test.
  • Include as much self-testing in your review as possible.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle (get enough sleep, good nutrition, exercise, some personal ‘down’ time, and a reasonable amount of social interaction)
  • As you anticipate the exam, think positively.
  • On the night before the exam make sure to organize everything that you will need (pen, pencil, eraser, etc.). Double check the time and location.
  • Set the alarm and get a good nights sleep before the exam.
  • Get to the exam on time (not too late but not too early).
  • Don’t talk to other students about the exam material prior to writing exam.
  • Sit in a location in the room where you will can avoid distractions.
  • As the exam is distributed calm yourself down by taking deep breaths.
  • Make sure to carefully read any instructions on the exam.
  • Focus only on the exam, not on anything or anyone else.
  • If you feel anxious, take a few moments to calm yourself down. Stretch your arms and legs and then relax them again. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Do some positive internal self-talk
  • If the exam is more difficult than you anticipated, try to focus and just do your best.
  • You can take control of test anxiety so that your performance on a test reflects your real understanding of the material. If interfering levels of test anxiety persists, however, speak with a counselor for assistance.