Being nervous before an important evaluation is prevalent among us, but for many of us the anxiety is much worse and almost crippling. But don’t fret, there are ways to overcome such anxiety once and for all. Below we explain why test anxiety happens (getting to the source) and what you can do to manage it.
Why test anxiety happens
A lot of test anxiety results from a fear of failure. Some of us become consumed by the pressure to perform, which can lead to expecting (assuming) negative outcome of tests and decrease in self-worth.
Naturally, a lack of preparation can also exacerbate the tendency towards test anxiety.
Also, a poor history of testing experiences can trigger test anxiety. So let’s get to the bottom of it and find ways to conquer such fear once and for all.
How to overcome test anxiety
Practice makes perfect
Procrastinating until the last minute is never a good idea. This goes back to the lack-of-preparation trigger; the more you’ve prepared, the better your chances are of feeling confidence and ready on test day. Here are more tips about how you can get organized and better manage your time.
Have regular review sessions
Review materials periodically and always start with the ones that were taught earliest. Make revision sessions a regular thing – an hour or so – in your weekly routine and you’ll sure be ready when tests come around.
Simulations actually work
Simulate doing the test ahead of time. This will expose you to some of the circumstances that usually make you anxious, such as time limits, a large amount of questions, and such. Your mind and body will adapt to these test conditions and have time to adjust. And when test day comes, you’ll feel more at ease and can therefore focus on answering the questions.
Coordinate study time and break time
Of course, it’s important to get enough study time in, but you also don’t want to fry your brain! So schedule in both study time and break time in your calendar or agenda. This way, you can commit to studying hard for your upcoming test(s) and take a breather to let your mind and body recharge.
Have positive thoughts
Remind yourself that in the end, all your hard work will pay off. More importantly, whatever happens, you are more than your test scores. Start by setting reasonable expectations for yourself, forgive yourself when you fail (and try again!), and reward yourself when you do succeed.
Some final thoughts…
Test anxiety is very real and it’s not anybody’s fault. Don’t blame yourself and don’t feel ashamed. Follow the above tips and breathe deeply. You can do it.
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