Defeating Test Anxiety
It’s that time of year again. Students are taking state tests, the ACT, and SAT. Tutors, teachers, and parents have worked hard to help prepare students. Students have studied for endless hours trying to do their best to comprehend and remember all they have to for their exams.
Sometimes no matter how hard you’ve worked to prepare for a test, anxiety can prevent you from performing to your full potential. Students get test anxiety for reasons such as fear of failure, lack of preparation, and poor test history. It can affect them physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Thus, affecting their results on the exam and their overall grade in a course.
I have had test anxiety ever since I was in elementary school. It only got worse when I was in college and university. The minute I received the test I felt my heart pound harder and harder. My face felt hot and my body became extremely tense. Timed tests only made the situation more stressful.
There are several ways to deal with test anxiety. Don’t suffer! Here are some strategies to help students overcome all the stress that comes with taking tests, especially timed tests.
Move around while studying. Stretch. Take Breaks. Walk around with your study sheets and flash cards and read them aloud. During the test stretch your legs and arms.
Breathe! “If you’re feeling nervous when you sit down to take the test, take three slow, steady breaths. Remind yourself that you’ve been getting ready for these tests all year long.” – Ted Dorsey
My favorite free mindfulness apps are MindShift and Breathe
Focus with fidget toys. Fat Brain Toys has the ultimate selection of fidget toys, which are searchable by age. Also, use small things such as a bracelet or necklace.
Get plenty of sleep. Don’t study while tired. If you are tired then stop. You will not retain anything if you are exhausted.
Always eat breakfast! During a test maintain your focus with a peppermint candy, gum, or a piece of chocolate.
Create a study plan two weeks in advance with a study schedule and specific strategies that will help you retain what you need to know.
Create a study playlist. Pick your power song and listen to it before the test for motivation.