Shaky knees, nervous sweat, and a pounding heart are a few of the possible physiological symptoms of test anxiety; however, even worse is anxiety’s potential effect on your exam score! A lack of confidence can cause you to second-guess your answers and waste time scrambling to make arbitrary multiple-choice decisions; a lack of focus can make the blank space of an essay portion loom all the larger in your mind; and fatigue can cause you to make foolish mistake that you otherwise could have easily avoided.
Everyone wants to do their best on every test, so what do you do when test anxiety hits? Here are three simple tips.
1. Take a Break from Studying
All that studying can, and will, take its toll on you. The truth is: Once you’re at a point when you feel like you’re just staring at the page, your studying has lost all effectiveness. Go do something else to engage a different part of your brain play a video game, surf the web, have a snack, take a nap, watch a little television, finish some chores. Do whatever it takes to come back to the books fresh and relaxed.
2. Be a Confident Person
Do you know what the difference is between just acting confident and truly being confident? Nothing. There is no difference. Confidence is an attitude choice; once you have adequately prepared for the test at hand, and there is nothing more you can do before it occurs, just roll right into it with positive expectations. Confidence can be a powerful ally in the war you wage on exams!
3. Target Your Symptoms
This one requires a bit more application, but the benefit is great if you are familiar with the effects that anxiety has on you, specifically, then you can more effectively combat them. Usually, physiological effects can be deftly handled with deep breaths and focus. Other reactions to anxiety, such as stress and sleep loss, require certain action as well do not be afraid to consider treating these reactions as your tactic, rather than trying to master the broad scope of anxiety as a whole. Maybe you need some medication help, or perhaps all you lacked all along was an encouraging word from a friend. The same solutions you find in other areas of life will often apply to test anxiety.
In the end, however, nothing beats anxiety like plain preparedness. Study well, get adequate rest and nourishment, arrive with all the necessary materials, and there will be no reason to fear the exam you will be ready to ace it!