Successful Strategies for Test Taking Anxiety

by Heather Froelicker

We all experience some level of anxiety before a test. A little nervousness can actually help motivate us to perform our best, however, too much anxiety can be a problem that interferes with performance. Here are some strategies to keep in mind as you prepare for finals.

A Week Before:

• Space out your studying over a few days or weeks and continually review class material.
• Try to maintain a positive attitude while preparing for the test and during the test.
• Daily exercising helps reduce stress.

The Night Before:

• Get a good night’s sleep before the test.
• Better to go to bed at your normal time versus staying up late to study longer

Day of the Test:

• Eat Breakfast
• Show up early so you won’t have to worry about being late.
• Stay relaxed, if you begin to get nervous take a few deep breaths slowly to help yourself relax
• Read the directions slowly and carefully.
• Skim through the test so that you have a good idea how to pace yourself.
• Write down important formulas, facts, definitions and/or keywords in the margin first so you won’t worry about forgetting them.
• Do the simple questions first to help build up your confidence for the harder questions.
• Don’t worry about how fast other people finish their test; just concentrate on your own test.
• If you don’t know a question, skip it for the time being (come back to it later if you have time)
• Focus on the question at hand. Don’t let your mind wander on other things.

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