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Test Anxiety Tips

By Shanmukha P on November 2, 2022

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Do you feel nervous during tests? Does your mind go blank while taking a test? Many people experience test anxiety and get stressed out before a test. Sometimes, test anxiety is referred to as “butterflies in the stomach”. But don’t worry, here are some tips on how to reduce test anxiety so you can do your best on every test.

Why do People Get Anxious during Tests?

Before we go over how to reduce test anxiety, let’s quickly go over why people experience test anxiety. Many people become nervous for a test because they are scared of failing. While it is okay to be a little nervous, test anxiety can decrease test scores and affect mental health.

Sleep Well

Sleeping helps your brain remember more and have a fresh start so you can do your best on the test. Learn the material in advance and don’t stay up all night to study. Studies show that sleep actually builds memory, meaning that if you learn something, you will remember it. Sleep also detoxes the brain meaning it removes all the waste products in your brain. Many people stay up all night before a test, but that is the worst way to study because you won’t remember anything you studied the night before and you might even forge what you already knew. Try to avoid all-nighters at any cost and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep, if not more.

Good Diet

You should have a balanced diet for the week before an exam to do your best. You should avoid foods with simple sugars like candy. Omega 3 is great for brain functioning and can be found in fish. The brain uses sugar for fuel but simple sugars such as candy don’t last that long. Complex carbohydrates such as natural fruits, vegetables and grains can be effective. Lastly, water is the best thing you can drink. Be sure to drink a lot of water in the morning before you take the test. You should also keep a water bottle with you during tests for hydration.

Arrive Early

Arrive at the test site a couple days before your test so you can get used to it, especially, if it is an unfamiliar place. This can make you feel more comfortable on the day of the test. On the day of the test, arrive at least 10-15 minutes early so you don’t feel rushed and make yourself comfortable. This will reduce stress of arriving late for the exam. While you are waiting, get something to pass time like a book.

Test Time

While taking a test, stay calm and don’t over think. First, look through the entire test and look at the questions before starting. If there is a question you don’t know the answer to, skip it and come back to it later on. Answer all the questions you know and come back to the challenging ones at the end. To avoid any errors, always read every question multiple times, in order to understand it better and check your answer so you are 100% positive that you have selected the answer you would like. You shouldn’t think about the results during the test because it could disturb your concentration. You also shouldn’t have negative thoughts in your brain since it can affect how you do your test. Being overconfident and expecting a 100% is also not a good thing.

Clean Mind

Thoughts are a major distraction during tests. Often, your mind feels bored and drifts off from the test mindset and starts to think about something else. Keep your mind on the test and try not to get distracted. If anything, don’t think about negative thoughts and think positively. Another thing you can do during a test is thinking about a happy moment. Then, quickly change to your test and answer a question with that mindset. This will help you to take your mind off negative thoughts and only focus on positivity.

Take a Break

During a test, it is very hard for your body to sit in one place for hours and concentrate. This can cause muscle pain and can divert your brain. Overthinking is also not very good for you. To prevent this, every half an hour or so, take a short break to help you relax. During this break, take a couple of deep breaths to help calm you down. Do some wrist exercises so it can move freely. Also, do some neck exercises since it might start to hurt after a while. During the break, drink some water to refresh your mind.

Thank you Hafsah M for editing this article! peer tutoring, for free.


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