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Overcoming Testing Anxiety

Feeling anxious, nervous, or upset before taking an exam? Test anxiety is when a student excessively worries about doing well on a test. This is a common occurrence for many test takers. Fortunately, there are proven techniques that can be used to help overcome testing anxiety. The following are tips listed below are ways to reduce test taking anxiety:

  • Be prepared - Know exactly what to expect on test day and prepare by using study materials and aids. Being well prepared for the test is the best way to reduce test taking anxiety.
  • Avoid cramming - Make sure to set aside and allow for proper time to study. It is not a good idea to attempt to learn everything the night before.
  • Stay positive - Try to maintain a positive attitude while preparing for the test and during the test.
  • Take care of yourself - Get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast. Also exercising for a few days before the test will help reduce stress.
  • Be on time - Show up to the testing site early so you will not have to worry about being late.
  • Stay relaxed - If you begin to get nervous take a few deep breaths slowly to relax yourself and then get back to work.
  • Stay focused - Focus on the question at hand and keep your mind from wandering. For test that are not computer-adaptive (a computerized exam that adapts to the examinee's ability level), complete the simple questions first to help build up your confidence for the harder questions. Also, remember to concentrate on your own test and not worry about how fast other people finish their test.
  • Reward yourself - Think for a moment about the post-exam reward for a job well done!
  • Additional help - If you're still experiencing extreme test anxiety after following these tips, seek help from the Counseling and Mental Health Center.