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Everyone who takes a test will feel some form of anxiety. That is normal. However, for some of you, the feelings are so intense that they may affect the results of your tests. Here are some guidelines that will help reduce test anxiety.
- Improve your study habits — Not knowing how to efficiently study can contribute to exam stress. Organization and preparation are the key weapons in your fight against test anxiety.
- Get rid of the fear of the unknown — Not knowing what to expect on an exam is a fundamental source of anxiety. Things go much more smoothly when you have some idea of what to prepare for.
- Do not place focus on past negative experiences — You studied long hours for an exam, but when the exam was passed out, you discovered that the questions asked were from the material you had not studied. As a result, you failed the test. A bad experience like this may undermine your confidence and negatively affect your performance on the next exam.
- Talk with your instructor and get as much information about the test — Anxiety will be reduced when you have additional information about a test.
- Take good care of yourself — Lack of sleep, poor eating habits, excess caffeine, and insufficient exercise are destructive to your mind as well as your body. By eating foods low in sugars and fat, and exercising routinely, you can help energize your mind and body.
- Do not study right before the exam — You will not learn anything new a few minutes before the exam. Relax before the exam and focus on positive things.
- Do not go into the classroom early on test day — It is common to overhear students talking to each other before the exam to try and guess what is going to be on the exam. While it is good to brainstorm with classmates in the days before the exam, at this point listening to other students may undermine your confidence. Trust yourself — you have planned your attack and it is a good one, no matter how much it differs from other student.
Student Success Coach