5 Ways to Deal With Test Anxiety
Final exams are approaching, and while pre-exam jitters are almost inevitable, some students may experience more pronounced stress levels due to test anxiety. If you worry and self-doubt are interfering with your test-taking experience, you’re not alone: as many as 30% of first-year college students experience test anxiety.
The good news for students is that it is possible to cope with exam-related stress and avoid overwhelming feelings of anxiety on test day. Keep reading to learn more about our top tips for dealing with test anxiety.
Create a Plan
For some students, one of the greatest sources of anxiety may be uncertainty surrounding the test-taking process. From where you should show up to packing the right testing supplies, there are several components to the test-taking process that require a little research and attention to detail. To keep your anxiety in check, strive to learn as much about the exam and testing protocol as possible.
Make sure you understand the test format, how many sections there will be, and how much time you will have to complete each one. Additionally, you may wish to practice traveling to your testing destination to feel more comfortable with the logistics. If you’re unsure about what to bring or when to arrive, don’t hesitate to contact your testing administrator or review the website for a standardized exam like the SAT or ACT.
While it might be tempting to put off studying, waiting until the last minute is likely to cause test anxiety to spike. Working under a tight deadline is almost always more stressful, so getting a jump start on your test preparation may be the best choice when it comes to keeping anxiety at bay. Create a study schedule that includes ample time for practice tests and lessons that focus on specific aspects of the test that you find most challenging. If you’re unsure about when to get started or what your plan should look like, it can be beneficial to work with an experienced tutor to develop an approach that will help you feel confident and relaxed on test day.
Try Breathing Exercises
It may sound deceptively simple, but checking in with your breath can have a profound impact on your anxiety levels. Many studies support the notion that breathing techniques are effective against anxiety and insomnia. If you’re looking to give it a try, there are plenty of resources with simple breathing exercises on health websites like WebMD as well as videos that will walk you through techniques on YouTube. Once you’ve learned some breathing exercises that work for you, you can come back to them anytime and anywhere, including the day of your exam.
Set Yourself Up for Success
From how you sleep to the foods that you eat, there are so many different factors that can influence your anxiety levels and how you feel before a big moment. To create the ideal circumstances for test day, make sure you are well-rested the night before. Aim to go to bed earlier than normal in case you have any difficulty falling asleep. Set your alarm well before the start of your exam so you can have a relaxing morning with enough time to eat a breakfast that is balanced and nourishing. Pack your bag with your testing supplies and lay out your outfit the night before to minimize your to-do list on the day of the exam.
Although it may not be possible to fully eliminate test anxiety, preparing in advance, and building healthy habits can help students keep their stress levels in check. If you are dealing with test anxiety and looking to build up your confidence levels, our team of expert tutors is here to help with personalized plans to help you prep and perform your best on test day.