If you’re anything like I was in college, you know all too well how debilitating test anxiety can be. It didn’t matter how much I studied or how confident I was in the test, whenever I entered a testing room I felt instantly compelled to run away, quit school and join a traveling folk band. Anything to be off the hook.
This is a problem for nearly 20% of students across America. Test anxiety is no longer a simple fear of testing, but has grown to become the most common scholastic impairment in our country. Thankfully, we have some tips for dealing with test anxiety that help lessen the blow:
DO NOT CRAM
Cramming before the test will do you little to no good. In fact, this has been found to create even more anxiety that using more standard studying techniques. Instead of cramming, set aside multiple pockets of time for about a week before your test to study for an hour or two. That way, you won’t feel like your about to explode with knowledge. Plus, you get the added benefit of allowing more time for the information to sink in.
Study how you test
It’s very important to study under the same environment that you plan on testing. For example, if your test will be held in a quiet classroom with few distractions, study in a quiet environment with few distractions as well. If your test will be held in a private study room – put yourself in private room while you study. Studying at the same time as the test can also be helpful. If you can swing it with your schedule.
Confidence is key
I wish I could tell you that studying is all it takes to pass a test, but that just isn’t true. Not only should you come to the test prepared and well-studied, you should also come to the test feeling confident about your preparation. It may not seem helpful, but a little bit of confidence can go a long way. And can ultimately mean the difference between passing and failing.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason
Just like your car needs fuel to get you from point A to point B, your body needs fuel to get you from grade F to grade A. Make sure you eat a good breakfast the morning of your test. Testing in the evening? Take a hearty snack with you to keep your energy levels going. Believe it or not, your brain burns calories when you think critically, so make sure you have fed your beast.
Tests are hard. They wouldn’t be called “tests” if they didn’t test and challenge you. Understand this as an unshakable reality and you will feel better. Trust me, when you know you are about to do something that might be pretty tough, your mind prepares for it. Just remember, if you run into the seemingly impossible question, take a step back, take a deep breath, then take a crack at the correct answer.