If you get anxious in the days and hours approaching an important test, you aren't alone. Test anxiety is a real psychological condition in which people experience extreme distress and anxiety leading up to a test. While a little stress can actually be a good thing, too much anxiety can lead to poor results on testing day. Anxiety can take different forms for everybody, ranging from a few butterflies in your stomach to a full blown panic attack. If you're on the extreme end of the anxiety spectrum, it's important to seek counseling to determine if there is another underlying issue that is leading to your extreme anxiety. For everyone else, here are some tips on how to combat test anxiety:
Sleep is so important when you're getting ready for a big test. And not just the night before. It's important to sleep well for at least a week leading up to your test so that you are refreshed and sharp on test day. In addition, your mind uses your time sleeping to store and remember all those details that you were studying. So while pulling an all-nighter might seem like a good idea, it actually can lead you to remember less of what you learned than you would have if you just shut your books and went to bed at a reasonable hour.
A lot of people put exercise off to the side when they're prepping for a big test, but this can be a crucial mistake. Exercising helps your body prep for big events like tests in several ways. First, it helps you clear your mind, which gives you a much needed break. Second, light to moderate exercise produces important hormones that will boost your energy levels and your mood. Finally, exercising helps you remember to breathe deeply, which is an important and easy way to reduce stress before your test. Yoga is an especially useful way to exercise since it releases tension, helps you focus, and keeps you calm.
Any time you feel self-doubt creeping in, remind yourself of everything you have done to get ready for the test. You know the material, and this test if your chance to prove it to yourself and to the test reviewer. Keep your thoughts positive and avoid negative self-talk and negative talk with peers before the test.
Start employing these tactics now so that they can become habit by the time your big test day comes. For more ideas on how to cope with and combat test anxiety, contact us.