Do you have test anxiety? Do you feel like you know all the answers when you’re studying at home, but then you freeze up when it comes to the exam?
Fear not! You are NOT alone and there IS an answer! (Great news, right? Feel that test anxiety slipping away already!)
Keep reading to learn the secrets of the fearless test takers.
Give yourself enough time to prepare.
Nothing screams “panic!” like when you’re totally unprepared for your test and you know it! You didn’t give yourself enough time to learn the material and now your test anxiety is peaking. Because the only thing you’re sure of is that you’re NOT going to pass! You spent the whole night cramming, and now you’re tired and still clueless.
If this sounds like you, you are setting yourself up for failure and some severe test anxiety!
So what’s the first step to avoid test anxiety?
- Start reviewing the material every day at least a week before the test.
- Look over the learning objectives and make sure you’re familiar with everything listed.
- Answer practice questions from your text book and read the chapter summaries.
- Use my free printable weekly planner to schedule your study time.
Relax and get a good night’s sleep.
The day before your test shouldn’t be spent pulling an all-nighter in an attempt to cram weeks worth of material. Your brain will be tired! And it’ll be harder for you to focus and think clearly for your test.
- Spend the day doing something you love and take it easy on the school work. Breaks are so important for your mental health and it will help reduce stress and anxiety!
- Don’t cram! If you do study, make sure you’re giving yourself breaks and not overdoing it.
- Go to bed at a time that will leave you feeling refreshed in the morning.
Be mindful of what you eat + Don’t go hungry!
Most students don’t consider how important pre-test nutrition is and how it can affect them. First off, don’t go hungry! That’s easily a distraction and possibly even a motivation to get through your test faster if you’re starving. Be careful not to eat too heavy of a meal either, because that can make you feel sleepy and sluggish.
- Have something light that’ll hold you over through the entire length of the test. (I like meals such as eggs and toast, yogurt with fruit, granola bars, or a homemade sandwich.)
- Avoid heavy comfort foods and anything deep fried.
- Consider skipping the caffeine and energy drinks. They can make you feel jittery and worsen your test anxiety!
Exercise can help lower test anxiety!
Exercise releases feel good endorphins that can give you a mood boost before your test. It reduces stress and anxiety and gets your blood pumping! And personally, I always think more clearly after I exercise because it gets my brain juices flowing! And expending all that energy definitely helps me to sit still and focus.
Here are some exercises you can try depending on what you like:
- Yoga is great for stretching, flexibility, and meditation.
- Going for a walk or a bike ride is perfect for those who love the outdoors, and the sunshine can give you an extra mood boost as well. 🙂
- Those who want to sweat it out can try a 30 minute H.I.I.T. session or weight training.
Leave extra early. Don’t be late!
Make sure to leave your house extra early on test days. So many unforeseeable things could happen to make you late and add to your test anxiety. The last thing you need is a traffic jam, a car that won’t start, or to realize your gas tank is empty and you really don’t have time to stop right now! Top it off with not being able to find a last minute parking spot and you have a recipe for disaster!
So, what I recommend:
- Leave at least 15 minutes earlier than usual.
- If you have extra time you can use it to meditate or review some notes before your test 🙂
Avoid negativity + others with test anxiety. (Well, at least until the test is over…)
Imagine you’re already anxious. And then you show up for the exam and everyone is freaking out. Your friend tells you she heard the test was REALLY hard, and now you’re freaking out even more. And to be honest, even if your friend is right, it isn’t helpful because we don’t have any more time to study!
- Find a quiet place away from others where you can relax before the exam.
- Use this time to meditate. Visualize yourself being calm during your test.
- Listen to relaxing music if you like!
Say NO to test anxiety + Believe in yourself!
Don’t psych yourself out! Believing in yourself is so important. Remind yourself that you’ve put in the work to study and prepare for this test. You’ve done everything in your power to learn the material and gave it your all. Now all you gotta do is focus!
How exactly do you do that?
- Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath.
- Remind yourself how smart and capable you are! (Because you really are. ♡)
- Feel your test anxiety melting away!
- Take another slow, deep breath and let everything else go.
You’ve got this!