How to Fight Test Anxiety
Have you ever studied hard, only for your mind to go blank during the exam? Do your palms go sweaty, and you feel a pit in your stomach every time you take a test? If yes, then you might have “test anxiety,” a common problem affecting about 40-60% of students worldwide.
While a little nervousness is natural during an exam, test anxiety is much more than that. Students with this condition often complain of physical symptoms such as stomach pains, heart palpitations, sweating, and panic during an exam. They might also forget what they have studied and perform poorly.
If you also experience test anxiety, there is no need to worry. By planning early and following the tips below, you can manage the anxiety and perform well on your tests. Besides, you can hire a reliable essay writing service to help you with your assignments and free up some time for early planning.
What to Do if You Have a Lot of Time Before the Test
Create a Consistent Study Routine
Waiting till the last minute to study won’t really help, with or without test anxiety. Instead, start studying two to three months before the exam and build a consistent routine to avoid panic before it. Divide your day into multiple study sessions and try various strategies to see what works for you.
If looking at your textbooks makes you uneasy, try including mind-calming techniques, such as music or meditation, into your routine.
In addition, you can use platforms like DoMyEssay to delegate your assignments. For instance, ask them to write my research papers with native authors and focus on the test preparation instead. You can also build a study team and work with others to keep yourself motivated.
Talk to Your Teacher
If you have a trustworthy teacher, talk to them about your condition and its effect on you. If they have been around for a while, chances are they have dealt with several students suffering from anxiety. They can guide you on how to prepare better and ease your tension through practical tips from their experience.
Collect and Organize Resources
Additional resources such as videos and mindmaps, apart from your notes, can help to ace a test. But searching or sorting them right before exams can confuse your brain and worsen your anxiety. Instead, go through all the resources beforehand and separate the ones you want to refer to.
Further, write notes or summaries using these resources in your notebook or on a computer. These notes can be used for last-minute study or as flashcards for daily revisions.
Take Practice Tests
Practice tests are great for everyone as they assess your preparation under similar conditions as an actual test. And as the circumstances are completely under your control, you can face test anxiety and practice techniques to ease your nerves without being under real pressure.
Include these practice tests in your regular study routine even if you feel you aren’t prepared. This helps you become acquainted with assessments, and a real test scenario won’t feel much different.
What to Do Right Before the Test
Get Adequate Rest
If you want to keep test anxiety at bay, it is essential to maintain good health. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly. In fact, researchers at the University of Kansas found that anxiety and poor sleep are interlinked, and inadequate rest worsens the symptoms of test anxiety.
While resting well is a general health requirement, getting enough sleep the night before your exam is extremely important. This is the time when most students panic and tend to lose sleep. But you can control this panic by studying regularly, so you don’t get too tense the day before.
Revise from Your Notes
As tempting as it may be, avoid learning new topics right before your exams. Instead, revise the ones you have already studied and practice a few questions on familiar topics. As anxiety tends to be at its peak at the last moment, your brain won’t process new information well. Or worse, you may confuse it with other topics you have already studied, leading to a blank mind during a test.
If you have prepared notes or maintained a resource file, utilize them for effective revision. You can also use flashcards or refer to quizzes and assignments to go through familiar subjects. However, stop revising at least 30 minutes before taking the test to give yourself time to calm down.
What to Do During the Test
Start with What You Know
After receiving the question papers, use the first few minutes to go through and devise a plan to answer the questions. Start with questions you are confident about, and then attempt unfamiliar ones. If you are unable to answer something after you start, don’t waste too much time and go to the next one. With proper planning, you can spare some time to revisit your answers and add anything else you know.
Practice Grounding Techniques
Even with practice, anxiety can sometimes flare up during an exam. In such a case, recognize your symptoms and practice some grounding techniques. For example, deep and conscious breathing works well for many students. Other techniques such as visualization or the 5-4-3-2-1 technique also show good results. Practice these methods beforehand to know what works best for you.
You Are Not Alone
While test anxiety can feel daunting, we assure you that you aren’t alone. If your symptoms aren’t manageable, or if the anxiety interferes with your studies, it is good to seek professional help. Most schools have counselors who can guide you with further steps. Other helplines are also available online in case you require additional guidance.