Clobber Your Test Anxiety!

….. you are sweating.... you can't concentrate... your eyes hurt... you have a stomachache... you wish you were anywhere but in the classroom... you feel like the funny monster on the top of this blog article.... you keep telling yourself you are going to be OK, but you are not sure you are...

If you have these symptoms or just one of them, you just might have TEST ANXIETY.

Test anxiety often happened when I had an especially important test, like an exam. It happened even if I studied hard for the test! It has happened to me many times.

Here are some things I have found that can really helped me to clobber my test anxiety:

1.Take a couple of deep breaths. Inhale – exhale. Try the yoga way – imagine that you are inhaling anxious thoughts, and exhaling peaceful ones. You can also imagine that you are in a peaceful place - - do some quick meditation and tell yourself (silently) how peaceful you feel. Pretty soon you may actually start feeling more peaceful.

2.Review your notes or notecards while you are waiting for the teacher or professor to hand out the tests or before they come into the classroom. This can refresh your memory and help you get more answers right on the test.

3.Visualize success. Tell yourself that you are going to do well on the test. Often, this helps me succeed. Do not allow any negative thoughts to intrude on your success visualization. You can repeat this sentence in your mind before a test if you want to: “I know I will do well on this test. I am calm and confident. I will have no problems with this test.”

4. Answer everything you can (or do the essay you know best first). You can skip the questions you are not sure about. Then go back and answer the questions you skipped.

5. Do not leave any question unanswered. It is better to guess at a question than to get it automatically wrong.

6. If you have a hunch about an answer, and you really are not sure about it, do not overthink it. It seems that every time I think too hard about a question I really do not know, more times than not, the hunch answer is the correct one. So go with the first answer you think of if you are not sure.

7. When you find yourself getting scared or not concentrating, take a slow deep breath or two. This can help you get back to the test and not be so anxious.

8. When you are done with the test, check over your answers if you have time. This can really help. Sometimes, especially if you have a standardized test that uses a fill-in-the-blank answer sheet, you can catch mistakes where you have filled in the wrong spot and really knew the answer.

9. Erase the wrong answer, and fill in the correct one. I have personally found at least one or two of these mistakes especially if I was nervous and filled them in too fast. It is easy to get them wrong, so check them and you will be more confident.

10.If it's a really hard test, if you have studied as hard as you can, and done the best you can on it, relax. Worst comes to worst, if you don't get the grade you want, you can always fix it later, right? And whatever you got on the test, you aren't going to make it any different by worrying. So.... just celebrate when it is done! Because you won't ever have to go back to this same day again, and why not have a good day in spite of it?

11. Bring extra pens and/or pencils JUST IN CASE. You never know.

Oh – and GOOD LUCK, all you test and exam-takers out there. I hope these hints will help you.

Please give me YOUR hints about how to fight test anxiety too. I want to make a much longer list next time!


Other Nontrad Blog articles to help with test anxiety:

Help for Stressed Out Nontrads
10 tips for tests
More about Study Groups
10 tips for doing well on finals

Websites and other people's articles that can help with test anxiety:
Tip #3, Manage Test Anxiety, for going back to school at the site
Suite 101 tells How to Deal with Test Anxiety
Overcoming Test Anxiety, from Southwestern College (CA) - has quizzes too!

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