You have got to admit. Test anxiety does not help whenever you had an exam. If anything, it makes it so much worse. And worst of all, it affects your results too. Since we are approaching finals fast, here are some really good tips that could help you overcome the anxiety.
General preparation/building confidence
- Review your personal situation and skills
- Developing good study habits and strategies (refer to February 14th, post)
- Managing time (dealing with procrastination, distractions, laziness)
- Organizing material to be studied and learned
- Take a step by step approach to build a strategy and not get
- Reviewing your past performance on tests to improve and learn from experience
Test preparation to reduce anxiety:
- Approach the exam with confidence: Use whatever strategies you can to personalize success: visualization, logic, talking to yourself, practice, team work, journaling, etc.
- View the exam as an opportunity to show how much you’ve studied and to receive a reward for the studying you’ve done
- Be prepared! Luck favors the prepared.
- Learn your material thoroughly and organize what materials you will need for the test. Use a checklist
- Allow yourself plenty of time, especially to do things you need to do before the test and still get there a little early
- Avoid thinking you need to cram just before
- Strive for a relaxed state of concentration
- Avoid speaking with any fellow students who have not prepared, who express negativity, who will distract your preparation. Run far, far away from them!
- A program of exercise is said to sharpen the mind
- Get a good night’s sleep – Sleep is good. Sleep more before the night before the exam
- Don’t go to the exam with an empty stomach- Fresh fruits and vegetables are often recommended to reduce stress. Go to the server and grab an apple or two. It helps keeps you awake too.
- Stressful foods can include processed foods, artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, eggs, fried foods, junk foods, pork, red meat, sugar, white flour products, chips and similar snack foods, foods containing preservatives or heavy spice
- My advise on this: CHUCK AWAY THE MOUNTAIN DEW and ENERGY DRINKS!! Every time you palpitate, information escapes from you brain!
During the test:
- Read the directions carefully
- Budget your test taking time
- Change positions to help you relax- just make sure it is not distracting for others. Can you imagine just lying down flat on the table and do your test? It is going to be really distracting for your class mates. Don’t do that.
- If you go blank, skip the question and go on
- If you’re taking an essay test and you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind.
- Don’t panic. Once you panic the information is just going to escape.
- Remember, there is no reward for finishing first. Take your time and scrutinize your answers. Because you are more likely to spot some really minor mistakes that could cost you your marks.
- Use relaxation techniques (refer to February 21st post- told you! You will need this!)
If you find yourself tensing and getting anxious during the test:
- Relax; you are in control.
- Take slow, deep breaths. Like slow. Not hyperventilating.
- Don’t think about the fear. Think about rainbows and unicorns.
- Pause: think about the next step and keep on task, step by step
- Use positive reinforcement for yourself: Acknowledge that you have done, and are doing, your best. Tell yourself you are really smart.
- Expect some anxiety: It’s a reminder that you want to do your best and can provide energy. Just keep it manageable
After the test, review how you did
- List what worked, and hold onto these strategies: It does not matter how small the items are: they are building blocks to success
- List what did not work for improvement
- Celebrate that you are on the road to overcoming this obstacle
Good Luck on your Finals J