Test anxiety is an issue for many students. Whether you’re in high school taking your SAT or an adult taking a driver’s license exam, taking a test can be nerve-wracking for a lot of people. Based on feedback, everyone has experienced test anxiety at some point in their lives (perhaps some more than others) but it is important to know that it is completely normal to experience anxiety and stress surrounding exams. Here are some ways you can reduce test anxiety.
1. Be prepared for the test
Make sure you are studying for the exam so that you feel more prepared and confident when the day of the exam comes. Also, if your exam is in a new location, try driving there a day early or even an hour early so that you know where it is and relive that anxiety.
Try some relaxation techniques such as deep breaths to calm yourself down before an exam. Try practicing mindfulness before an exam so that you go in feeling more relaxed and centered.
3. Change your thoughts
Rather than thinking negatively, tell yourself positive things. The more you tell yourself these things, the more you will start to believe in them and feel less anxious.
4. Treat your body well
Make sure to get a good night’s rest before your exam. You’ll feel better when you wake up before the exam. Make sure that you eat before the exam so that you are energized and ready to take that exam.
5. Be positive
Remind yourself that you have prepared for this exam the best that you can and acknowledge your accomplishments in preparing for this exam. You’ll feel better about yourself and relax for the exam.
Test taking can create feelings of anxiety in almost anyone. The fear of the unknown and the fear of failure is enough to make anybody’s stomach do a few somersaults. It’s important to remember these tips before any exam and to treat yourself with kindness. If none of these tips are for you, try thinking of relaxation techniques that have worked for you in the past. Create a process of relaxation that works for you so that you can ace that test!
If you are experiencing test anxiety and it’s keeping you from achieving your goals, you may want to reach out to a therapist who specializes in anxiety.
Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP , Mental Health Counselor of the Year by the Florida Mental Health Counseling Association, decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Amanda has been a therapist for ten years and has a private practice in Pembroke Pines, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and substance abuse in teenagers and young adults. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here.