Overcome Test Taking Anxiety
Exams and tests are an inevitable part of school and college life and the accompanying dread is unequal to anything else. You've done your homework well and yet why is it you have butterflies in your stomach when you look at the question paper before you? It seems that everything you've learned has just evaporated- anxiety gnaws at you and you're a total mess.
Tests and exams don't really show what you truly are, but knowing that doesn't help to make things better. Otherwise always calm and collected, taking a test is like driving blind- your anxiety levels shoot up and you're in knots. This doesn't augur well as it more often than not negatively impacts the results of the test. Your grades don't reflect you- you know you're far better than that, but when it counts, your anxiety prevents you from doing better.
So what is it that makes test-takers display so much of anxiety while taking a test? Is it the fear of failure, is it that you just cannot remember a single thing that you've drilled into yourself a hundred times? Is it that the fear that you may be the laughing stock of the entire class? Whatever it is, the anxiety is real, the fear is real and it doesn't do you any good at all. You obviously need to get a handle on your anxiety if you're to make good.
Let's see what you can do to remedy the situation- before the test, on the test day and during the test-
Before the test
- Review the study material as often as you can and don't shirk or postpone study periods. The more thorough you are, the better equipped and armed will you be to tackle any question during the test. Get those fundas right.
- Stick to study plans and schedules that you've drawn up- spend more time on learning the things that always seem to evade you- it's so easy to put this off. Doing it over and over again will reiterate and reinforce the points that you're less familiar with
- don't wait for D-day to review material- do it well before- and review material only for short spans of time till you really get the hang of it
- A couple of days before the test, take time off to ensure that you've really committed the stuff to your memory
- Sometimes it helps to jot down points every time you study- you can see them in your mind's eye if you do it often enough
- On the day of test, get up early, review the material briefly but never go overboard with the review- what you've learned will hold you in good stead
- Sleep well- get a good night's rest and wake up fresh and raring to go
On the day of the test
- Get that adrenaline going, some light exercise to trigger those endorphins always helps a great deal. It induces that 'good feel' feeling and that augurs well.
- Ensure that you eat healthy- avoid caffeine, sugar and foods that cause your heart to beat faster and increase your blood pressure. You can do without both, considering you'll have to contend with those feelings later!!!!
- arrive early at the test center- look over your notes one last time- close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths, and still the beating heart
During the test
- it helps to look through the directions more than once- glance through the questions.
- tackle the bits that you know but you feel you may forget later
- handle the sure pieces confidently
- answer the rest to the best of your ability
- at no time, feel overwhelmed- it's not a 'do or die' situation, after all it's only a test that in no way determines what and who you actually are
- if at any point of time, you do feel nervous, close your eyes and look into your mind's eye- it's amazing what you can see
- manage your time optimally so that you don't feel pressed towards the end
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