Dealing with Test Anxiety

Do you suffer from test anxiety.

Perhaps you thought you knew the material. You had studied diligently and done all the homework. But then on the day of the exam, you freeze up and your mind goes blank.

The questions you thought you knew....well you just can't seem to remember them now.

Does this sound familiar? If so, then you may be experiencing test anxiety.

It's okay to feel nervous before an exam - in fact it can rev you up and motivate you to do well in your exam.

But when that nervousness becomes so strong that you can't perform in a test or have difficulty remembering and concentrating, then you need to do something about your test anxiety.

There are a number of things that you can do before, during and after your test to reduce your test taking anxiety.

  1. Use good study techniques. Student time management provides you with a number of good study techniques and show you how to manage your time effectively.
  2. Develop a positive attitude to your study. In other words, think of the test as an opportunity to show what you have learned. This is where developing a positive attitude can also help. If you think about "what if I forget the answers" or "I think the test is too hard", then this is likely to add fuel to the anxiety that you are experiencing.
  3. Rest well and eat well. Good rest will give your mind the best chance to be alert.
  4. Test taking anxiety is likely to induce the fight or flight response. As a result, your body will release adrenaline and cause many of the physical symptoms of stress, such as a pounding heart, sweaty palms, or rapid and shallow breathing.

This is why it is important to take care of yourself. Learn ways that you can relax yourself either before or during the test.

Most relaxation techniques will help, but I really like doing breathing exercises to center myself and increase my feelings of control.

I find that breathing exercises can be sequenced into your exam which can greatly reduce your stress and increase your focus.

Test taking anxiety is a type of performance anxiety, in which performance really counts and the pressure is on to do well.

Other types of performance anxiety include public speaking anxiety or going to an important interview.





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