Test anxiety is something that most college students deal with on a day to day basis. Whether we have it because we are scared of failing or we have it because we want to meet people’s expectations. I deal with test anxiety whenever it comes to a standardized test or a regular exam in my classes. There are some tips that I have found that help me deal with test anxiety.
3 Tips to Reduce Test Anxiety
- Deep breathing
Deep breathing allows you to take a second to relax and refocus your attention on the exam rather than the anxiety that you are feeling. In order to do this properly, you need to be sitting straight up in your chair. Then slowly inhale through your nose. As you’re inhaling you want to first fill the lower section of your lungs and work your way up to your upper lungs. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Wait a few seconds and repeat the cycle.
2. Get enough sleep
As a college student myself, this one is hard to do the day before a big exam. There is so much anxiety that is building up and you feel like you have to get one last session of studying in even if that means sacrificing hours of sleep. When you sacrifice hours of sleep, you are not allowing your brain to rest. If your brain is not resting the night before, you are most likely going to feel less prepared the day of the test than if you had gotten sleep. Having enough sleep the day before will make your anxiety levels decrease and allow you to focus on the exam rather than you feeling tired.
3. Create a Test-Day Routine
Creating a test-day routine will allow you to mentally prepare for the day that you have ahead of you. When you create a routine, your brain will remember that pattern when you have other test days and reduce the anxiety you are feeling. This routine can help your brain wake up as well as allow you to remember what you studied. An example of a routine that I have is eating a healthy breakfast in the morning, getting up in time to not feel rushed, and having time to look over notes to jog my memory.
If you need support and would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about similar topics, please contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.
Written by Kara D., Undergraduate Intern 2023
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