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Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Academics | 0 comments

Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety


My mind goes blank when it comes time for a test? What can I do to help me?

Dear Deborah,

Tests are not for everyone. Even though you know the material, being tested on it puts a lot of pressureĀ on some students. I attended a session on test anxiety once and learned some pretty cool tips. The one that stuck out to me was that while seating on your seat, before receiving the exam, relax and tell yourself how amazing you are and that you are going to do great. Enforcing your confidence is the best way to handle a test. I do this all the time and find it very helpful. Stressing out at the moment of the exam is not worth it and will not help you remember what you need to know. The key is to look at the exam and know you got this!

Of course, the best way to ensure this is by being prepared and studying diligently before a test. Try to avoid cramming, this is the worst. You will not learn anything and the facts and definitions will start to get mixed together. Believe me, I have done this and the results were not favorable. Also, try avoiding any distractions before and after the test, so that you will not worry about it during the test. Of course, I do have to add the obvious recommendations of getting a good night sleep and eating a good breakfast, and if you can have a snack before the test to keep your mind off an empty stomach. These simple actions will add positively to your test performance.

While you are test I would recommend you:

  • Take your time to read the directions carefully. Understanding the question is half the battle.
  • Budget your test taking time. Do not take too long on a single question, once you have answered it, do not fuss about it. Move on to the next one and if you have time to review you can go back and look at it.
  • Relax, and try any means to remain in this state. Change your seat or sitting position, make sure you have enough light, avoid being close to any distracting objects in the classroom.
  • If you go blank, skip the question and go to the next one. Later you can return to address it. Whenever I go blank on a question, I find that moving on and starting on other questions will trigger an answer in my mind or help me remember the procedure.
  • Lastly, do not panic! Take it slow, deep breaths, maintain a positive attitude, and do not rush it because it is not a competition to return the test first. It is only a test, not the end of the world.

Follow Maria at #AskMaria


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