7 Ways To Conquer Test Anxiety
Joan Jerkovich - March 17, 2015 3:49 pm
I have test Anxiety and I want to know how it can be improved. I feel like the more my test anxiety kinda kicks in the worse I get and when I do test I feel like my anxiety gets in the way and that’s why I do so bad on my tests and quizzes.
Previously when I take tests I have to take them outside of the room and I don’t like it. I feel unincluded and I feel like my anxiety raises. Thnx
You may have read my previous blog titled, “Test Anxiety? The 3 Common Causes,” but if you haven’t, review that and it will help you get into the mindset needed to conquer this.
In addition, try these 7 ways to get a grip on your anxiety over tests:
1. Study well in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute to study for a test, as this will only increase your anxiety. Focus instead, on setting study goals as tests and quizzes are scheduled. Keep up with the goals you have set for yourself as a way to reduce any “last minute” anxiety.
2. Take a practice test. Simulate the test environment at home or even try it out in the library where there are people around. Get your pencils and supplies together and do a practice run-through in your mind of what you think the test environment will feel like. If you can get in to the classroom you will be taking the test in, go in and sit by yourself. In your mind go through the steps of taking the test. As you do this, be mindful of any anxiety you feel so that you can work to calm yourself.
3. Practice calming your anxiety. Whether you’re running through your practice test, or just thinking about taking a quiz, or are in the moment taking a test, practice relaxation techniques to calm your nerves. Try deep breathing where you focus on your breath and nothing else until you feel calmer. Try to tense your muscles then consciously relax them. Notice in your body where you feel tense and relax that area of your body. Take a mini-break in your mind where you visualize, smell or hear things that you know relax you. Let those thoughts calm you.
4. Tamp down negative thoughts. If your anxiety gets worse when you get “hard on yourself” with negative thoughts, make those stop. Tell them to stop, or focus on your breathing until they go away, or counteract them with positive thoughts such as “I studied hard and am as prepared as I’m going to be for this test.”
5. Get in the zone. Mentally draw a circle around yourself that encompasses just you and the test sitting in front of you. Visualize this circle as blocking out the others in the room. Keep your focus on just the test at hand. Mentally think about how your mind is opening up to the information you have learned as you studied for this test. Get in the zone to where your subconscious keeps you relaxed and focused. If you believe in prayer, or meditation, or music, or movement to get you in the zone, use those methods to help you.
6. Eat, sleep and drink to de-stress. Make a point to get a good nights sleep 2-3 days before your test and never pull an “all-nighter.” Lack of sleep will decrease you ability to deal with your anxiety. Make sure you eat a good meal before your test and get plenty of fluids. You can’t expect the engine of your mind to run on empty, so practice healthy habits before your tests. Caffeine? A little right before tests is known to improve concentration, but don’t overdo it. Getting the caffeine jitters could make you think you’re anxious instead of over-caffeinated.
7. Work with your teachers and counselors. They know best how to help you with your test anxiety. If being taken outside the room only raises your anxiety, this would be the first thing I suggest you talk to your teachers about. They’re there to help you, so don’t feel embarrassed about asking for their guidance. I’m sure they’ll keep your conversations private and won’t take you out of the room when they hear from you that it only makes your anxiety worse.
I’m confident that you can turn this around. I want you to believe in yourself. Believe that you can do this, and you will be able to decrease your test anxiety!!
Listen to “The Joan Jerkovich Show” this weekend where I talk with my callers about “Political Apathy” and how the “Working Poor Need Healthcare.”