Strategies to Prevent Test Anxiety

Taking a test, even if you prepared, can cause major stress for even the best of students. There are ways to alleviate the tension.

The reason test anxiety can get so high is because usually tests count. Usually the people who go into test will little concern rarely do well on a test. Some worry has been shown to be good for us. It sharpens our alertness and makes us think, but a lot of worry will often erase what we tried so hard to learn.

This worry will pile up and interfere with your memory. Other emotions can also hurt your memory and hurt how you do on a test. Anger, depression and even a lack of confidence can affect a performance during testing.
Strategies to Prevent Test Anxiety

All of these reasons make it crucial to find some strategies that help alleviate the worry before test time arrives. One of the most important ways to help yourself during test taking time is to bolster your confidence.

Strategy 1– Building up your confidence- Psychology courses mention a self-fulfilling prophecy, that is the tendency to do as well, or as poor as you expect to do. This prophecy is especially true when it comes to exams. If you feel confident about passing, some of the anxiety that weighs on your mind will disappear. It is possible to gain points just because you have confidence in your subject matter.
Confidence is Important

So in order to bolster your confidence you should study the content so that there is no doubt in your mind that you know and understand the material. If possible, hire a tutor to help you master the subject. You don’t have to be the smartest in the class, just make sure you know the material. Confidence is important but not being cocky. There is a difference in the two.

Strategy 2– Minimize Discomfort- If possible visit the testing room before hand so that you will be familiar with the room. Find a seat you like and try to do some work there. Students really do perform better when they take a test in a room in which they have studied. In high school this is rarely and issue but in college and with entrance exams it is often a problem. Go ahead of time and pick a seat you like, if possible. It is never a good idea to run late to an exam. The tension from just being late can add to your stress.

Pay attention to the temperature of the room. Is it too cold or too hot? Make adjustments in the way you dress so that you will be comfortable and not too cold or over heated. If you notice distractions in the room, like a chart or interesting poster, study it now so that it won’t be tempting during the test.

Strategy 3– Get Happy- Many students roll through high school and college in a constant state of up and downs. A lot of the emotional rollercoaster cannot be helped but it is a good idea to get into a happy state of mind before testing. This includes banishing any anger you may be feeling towards another person or yourself. Do something relaxing before the test, go to a movie, listen to your favorite music, or just lie on the bed and think happy thoughts.
Postpone a Test if You are Ill

Strategies 4– postpone- If life is going horrible, or you are honestly not feeling well, it is a good idea to postpone a test if you can. This does not mean you should postpone the test because of test anxiety but if you are legitimately ill or under extreme duress it may be best to ask about taking the test on another day.

As stated earlier, testing is just a part of life and something that most people will experience at least once during a lifetime. The best part of testing is that even if you earn a failing grade it will not be the end of the world. Testing can be done over or if necessary the whole class can be re-taken. So if there is a test in your future use the strategies above to make that experience a more pleasant one.

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