Midterms, Labs, Quizzes & More…Tips to Manage Test Anxiety
Midterms & Labs & Quizzes, oh my!
If those words instantly fill you with dread, you may be experiencing test anxiety. Test anxiety is very common, especially among college students. College often means moving away from home, living on your own in a dorm room or apartment, and making your own schedule, jam-packed with classes, studying, and making new friends. The balancing act of wanting to fit in and be successful, in and out of college, can feel a bit overwhelming.
Tests are one of the main causes of anxiety in students. A little nervousness before a test is perfectly normal, but if you’re constantly feeling anxious, stressed, or even doubting yourself after studying all week and knowing the material, you should come up with some strategies to help you, especially on test days.
Here are some helpful tips to manage test anxiety:
The more confident you feel about the testing subject, the more relaxed you’ll feel come test day. If you go to class, take notes, and set time aside each day to study and become more familiar with the test material, it will make more sense to you, and you’ll be able to easily recall the information during a test. If you have a better understanding of the subject, you’ll have more confidence on test day, and you’ll feel a lot less anxious.
2. Establish a routine
Studying is a great first step, but setting time aside each day during the week prior to a test can be a lot more beneficial than cramming it all in the night before. It all goes back to actually knowing and understanding the information. Studying is a lot more effective when you have a routine or schedule in place.
3. Get enough sleep
All-nighters are a common phrase in college, but they’re not necessary, especially if you’re already prepared. Plus, sleep is one of the most important things for your body and brain to function properly. If you take the time to learn and study the material well in advance, you’ll never need to pull an all-nighter.
4. Don’t skip meals
Food and water are just as important as getting enough sleep. Your body and brain also need fuel and hydration to stay healthy and perform properly. All-nighters can often lead to drinking coffee or energy drinks, which are both known to increase anxiety. Just by following these first few steps of creating a study plan, getting enough sleep, and fueling your body properly, you’re already setting yourself up for success.
5. Try relaxation techniques
Test anxiety can still happen, even if you may feel prepared. When that happens, try to relax by incorporating some breathing techniques or closing your eyes and pushing away any negative thoughts. When you feel calm, open up your eyes and refocus your attention back on your test.
Exercise can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. There are a lot of different ways to get your body moving like going on a walk, running outside, lifting weights at the gym, or incorporating yoga or meditation. Exercise will naturally help ease your feelings of stress and anxiety.
7. Seek help
Talking to your teacher about what might be on the test can help you decide what to focus on. They may also have suggestions or recommendations for you on how to reduce some of your test anxiety.
Test anxiety won’t go away overnight, but figuring out how to channel that energy into studying can help decrease those feelings and set you up for success. Try out different approaches and see what works best for you! Tackling test anxiety will set you up for success throughout your college and professional career.
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