Campus Cope: Tips for dealing with test anxiety

Campus Cope – Joshua Wang / The Highlander

As midterm season approaches, it can be easy to fall into a spiral of test-taking anxiety. Since classes have been online for almost two years, going back to in-person exams can be incredibly nerve-racking. Here are some tips to dealing with testing anxiety: 

Practice makes perfect 

To prevent last-minute stress before any exam, you should start preparing for exams at least a week in advance. Not only will you be learning the information, but you will also be allowing yourself to ruminate on the information over an extended period of time. Feeling confident about your preparation will help you to succeed during your exam. 

Manifest success

If there’s a will, there’s a way! Before exams, it is imperative that you imagine success rather than failure. Going in with this image of passing makes you more likely to feel confident with your studying and comprehension of the material. 

Avoid negative self-talk 

Your attitude is the most important thing during an exam. Suppose you go in with the mentality that you will fail. In this case, you are dooming yourself for a future of failure. However, if you take an exam believing in your ability to pass, you will increase your chances of success on an exam.

Put things into perspective

Tests do not define you! Before going into an exam, it’s essential to ensure that you do not let your test scores define you. Keeping this mindset will help you to decrease your anxiety and stress before testing. Tests are not a measure of individual successes, and you shouldn’t sacrifice mental health for the sake of an exam. 

Dress for success

Before going into any exam, make sure that you feel and look the part of a test taker. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to put on a suit to do well. Simply do not take tests in your pajamas, and make sure you are in the right mindset to do well. Make sure you are comfortable in the environment you are testing or studying and come prepared for the exam. Dressing for success will make you more likely to succeed. 

Reward yourself 

While studying for an exam, it can be easy to lose yourself in the material. It is essential to reward yourself as a means of keeping your motivation up. Exam season can be overwhelming on both your mind and body; treat yourself after exams! Not only will you feel rejuvenated, but you will also feel highly motivated to do well on future tests.  

It does not have to be perfect

Perfection is emotionally draining and almost impossible to achieve. Getting a perfect score or doing perfect on an exam is too high of an expectation to put on yourself. Perfection is not the goal: doing your best is. When attempting to achieve perfection, you are setting yourself up for failed expectations. 

Watch the clock

One of the biggest reasons for testing stress is a lack of time. While taking your exams, make sure to watch the clock and be aware of how much time you need to complete each part. Only you know the pace at which you work. By watching the clock, you are keeping yourself on pace and ensuring you will not be in a rush during the last five minutes of the exam. 

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