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How To Deal With Test Anxiety

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Dont Forget To Breathe

How to Deal with Exam Stress and Anxiety | Science of Study #6 | Maddie Moate

When you get to the classroom or lecture hall, remember to breathe. Anxiety often causes our breathing to become more rapid and more shallow, meaning our lungs arent taking in as much air as they should. To combat this, Dr. Stefanik recommends breathing with your diaphragm. Close your eyes and place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest and take five slow, deep breaths, breathing through your stomach and keeping the hand on your chest as still as possible. Do this before you sit down to study and right before you take your exam to center yourself.

Eat And Drink Healthily

With all the studying youll be doing, its important to stay healthy;and keep your body fueled!

Before you study, stop by the dining hall for a low-fat, high-protein snack, like Greek yogurt, grilled chicken or part-skim mozzarella cheese. These snacks will give you energy and keep you focused without causing you to crash later on.

Its also important to stay hydrated to keep you healthy and avoid fatigue, so aim to drink eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. You can use this CamelBak calculator;to determine how much water is right for your frame and lifestyle.

Keep Calm The Day Of The Test

Before you get out of bed on the day of your test, try to breathe deeply and relax;your body to set the tone for the day. Try guided meditation;apps, like the Simply Being;app. Its only $0.99 and it offers a guided meditation for anywhere from five to 20 minutes. You can choose to meditate with a soothing voice and relaxing music or the sounds of the ocean, rain or a stream.

As difficult as it might be, dont talk about the exam with anyone else before you take it . If you run into a classmate who says he or she isnt worried at all, you might start to feel insecure or stupid , while talking to a classmate who is freaking out will only reinforce your fears about the test. Either way, talking to your classmates will only stress you out, so dont do it!

Its a good idea to take this quiet time before the exam to give yourself a little confidence boost by being optimistic. In the third grade, my teacher had all of us write down before a test, says Anais, a junior at the Savannah College of Art and Design. It sounds pretty simple, but positivity can help influence how well you take tests.

You might feel silly, but actually writing out encouraging thoughts, like, You got this! or, Im super nervous, but I studied as much as possible, and thats the best I can do! can help flush out feelings of anxiousness before a test to help you be able to focus on the material in front of you.

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Below Are Some Of The Ways By Which We Can Help Students Initiate The Process Of Reducing Test Anxiety:

Understanding that one cannot always perform well

Supporting students through tutors, study material and notes

Helping them prepare their daily routine

Chock out a plan to complete the syllabus

Scheduling adequate time for revision

Practice through mock tests

Helping them in maintaining a positive attitude

Teaching them to take failure as learning instead of setbacks

Giving emotional support to the students even at times of under-performance rather than stigmatizing them

Since it is inevitable to feel anxious before an exam teaching the students relaxation techniques is a good strategy to work on

Making sure students get adequate sleep and have well-balanced meals.

Engaging in physical activity

Scheduling sufficient intervals in between study hours

Supporting them with positive affirmations each time they doubt their capabilities

Seeking professional help for handling emotional difficulties

Try These Relaxation Techniques

5 Healthy Ways To Cope With Exam Stress

You are already in the middle of the exam or is it coming up real soon and you feel the fear sneaking up on you? Now is the time to distract yourself and focus on being calm. Try these exercises:

  • One hand goes to your neck, the other one to your forehead it may look a little funny but this will give your head warmth and energy!
  • Are you familiar with the Shen- Men Point which is located on your ear? The so-called Gate-to-the-Mind Point is located directly above the auricle and is designed to increase attention, reduce stress and release anxiety. To activate the pressure point, place your index finger on the back of your ear and lightly pressure the point with your thumb. Massage the point with a circular motion for about one minute.
  • Try this breathing technique to overcome panic. Take a deep breath and slowly release the air again. After breathing out, hold your breath for six to ten seconds. Repeat this exercise for as long as you want. You will feel that with every breath youll release some tension.

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How To Beat Test Anxiety In College

Most collegiettes know the feeling: You sit down to take a test and you feel a few butterflies in the pit of your stomach. You go over definitions and formulas in your head one last time, take a deep breath and pick up your pencil with a steady hand.

But what if thats not what happens? What if you sit down to take a test and your mind suddenly goes blank, your stomach twists itself into knots and you start to feel faint?

Sound familiar? If so, youre experiencing test anxiety, a very real type of anxiety that sets in before a test or exam. Everyone becomes anxious before an exam, says Dr. Roy Stefanik, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Some degree of anxiety helps in preparation and focus, but;too much anxiety can cause poor outcomes.

Test anxiety affects more college students than you might expect, but its not talked about very often. If you think you may suffer from test anxiety, youre not alone, and were here to help you understand it and kick it to the curb;so you can feel calm and confident for your next big test.

What Causes Test Anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, test anxiety is rooted in the following causes:

  • Fear of failure: Also called atychiphobia, fear of failure can negatively affect our performance. Students who tie their feeling of self-worth to the results of a test are more likely to experience this fear.
  • Lack of preparation: Knowing you did not study thoroughly enough for a test can add to your feelings of anxiety and dread.
  • Poor testing history: If you have performed poorly on other exams or have bad memories of testing situations, you may find yourself in a cycle of negative thoughts that can influence your results on future exams.

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When Is My Anxiety Harmful

Identifying what sort of anxiety youre dealing with can be somewhat challenging because how ones body reacts to perceived danger can be entirely different compared to another person.

Its likely you heard anxiety as a blanket term for that general feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. Its often a feeling grown in response to an upcoming event that has an uncertain outcome.

Every person deals with it at one time or another, because its part of our brains response to a perceived danger even if that danger isnt real.

That said, there are times anxiety can get serious and turn into anxiety attacks that initially feel manageable and then gradually build up over a few hours.

Fight Or Flight Response

How to Deal With Test Anxiety

Test anxiety can develop as preparedness to the body to face a stressful situation. This commonly is known as a fight or flight response which helps the individual to either face the situation or escape it completely. Students who have low self-esteem often doubt themselves even when they are well prepared. Some students end up procrastinating due to the fear of exams and put off their work till they have shortage of preparation time; which escalates and reaffirms their anxiety of exam. Past negative experiences of low performance, if not handled well, reinforces the feeling of anxiety.

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Prepare And The Grade Will Take Care Of Itself

When Bill Walsh took over as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, his work was cut out for him. The organization had endured several embarrassingly bad seasons prior to his arrival, and as a result, the media, fans and even some players expected the 49ers to fail.

That was until Walsh implemented a new philosophy.

Instead of setting long-term goals like winning the Super Bowl, Walsh prioritized the tiniest details each and every day: wearing uniforms properly, executing plays in practice down to the inch, eating healthy, and getting adequate rest.

If the players could do these little things right every single day, the score of the game would take care of itself.

There are strong parallels between Walshs coaching philosophy and test preparation. Boosting confidence in the classroom starts long before test day. This means taking care of the little things: taking notes every class and reviewing material consistently instead of cramming the night before the exam.

The compound effect of this slow, steady preparation is the confidence that you need to ward off those nerves on test day.

The downside of thorough preparation is obvious: its time-consuming, especially for college students who juggle multiple classes, jobs, and extracurriculars. The key is to find a level of preparation that you can tolerate without overwhelming yourself.

Then, on test day, think, Ive prepared as best I can; now the grade will take care of itself.

Thoroughly Prepare For The Test

The best way to rid yourself of anxiety is to be fully prepared for the exam. Be sure to research or discuss with your teacher exactly what will be on the test. Organize your study materials, begin studying well in advance, and spend more time with topics youre struggling with.

For additional peace of mind, you might consider working with a professional tutor who can answer any questions you have, train you in difficult topics, and ensure youre fully equipped for your exam. When you thoroughly prepare, youll feel more confident in your test-taking abilities.

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Information And Tips For A Stress

Most college students, no matter how well-prepared, experience some level of exam jitters. While a bit of edginess can serve to sharpen focus at test time, for some students, full-blown test anxiety becomes so debilitating it affects their confidence, grades, psyche and, quite possibly, the trajectory of their lives. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This guide explains what test anxiety is, how to conquer or at least cope with it and when to seek professional help.

Symptoms Of Test Anxiety

How to deal with exam stress?

Test anxiety symptoms can range from mild to severe.; It is possible to have mild symptoms of test anxiety and still perform well on exams.; Others can feel so overwhelmed that they encounter panic attacks before or during exams.; The Anxiety and Depression Association of America describes symptoms of test anxiety as physical, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional.

Physical SymptomsPhysical symptoms can range from increased heart rate, sweating, dry mouth, to shaking, fainting, panic attacks, vomiting and nausea.;

Cognitive and Behavioral SymptomsCognitive and behavioral symptoms can include negative self-talk and cognitive distortions that lead students to avoid studying or testing situations.; Challenges with focus and concentration as well as racing thoughts or rumination can be common.

Emotional SymptomsEmotional symptoms can include low self-esteem, depressive symptoms, frustration, irritability, feeling overwhelmed and a sense of hopelessness.

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How To Prevent Exam Or Test Anxiety And Deal With Exam Stress

Today Im telling you how to prevent exam or test anxiety and deal with exam stress.

I see many people struggling to de-stress and feel well before and even during a test or exam. I know I always feel a little bit anxious.

But, its just a little bit. Since I use the techniques Im going to show to you, Im able to stay calm beforehand.

Exam or test stress can be quiet harmful for students. Some go blank or have a hard time focusing during the test or exam.

For that reason, its super important to use strategies to help you prevent exam or test anxiety and deal with exam stress.

Lets get into the strategies thatll help you stay calm before and during a test or exam.

Tips To Manage Anxiety And Stress

Coping Strategies

Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:


Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress

For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.

  • 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
  • Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
  • Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
  • Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
  • Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.



If you are the parent of a college-aged child with an anxiety disorder, here are some tips to help with managing his or her anxiety.

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Let The Impossible Questions Go

Sometimes a question will appear impossible, but then you work with it and figure it out. Other times, a question will be impossible to answer because you really dont know the correct information. Let these ones go. Its pointless to waste time staring at a question that you cant answer while you continue to get more anxious about not being able to answer it. Walk away from these questions.

Stress of any kind is no fun. But experiencing test anxiety during a test can impair your ability to think. Youre not doomed, though. There are strategies like these ones that can really help.

One last time though, for good measure: The best way to prevent test anxiety is to fully prepare for your test.

Lukasik, Karolina M et al. The Relationship of Anxiety and Stress With Working Memory Performance in a Large Non-depressed Sample. Frontiers in psychology vol. 10 4. 23 Jan. 2019, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00004

Last Minute Tips Against Panicking

How to Deal with Test Anxiety
  • Wear your favorite clothes: An outfit that makes you feel good and powerful will set the right tone.
  • Avoid time-related stress: Leave early and plan a few more minutes for your ride in case youre stuck in traffic you will arrive relaxed.
  • Avoid pessimists: Dont make place for negative thinkers and panic spreaders. Before an exam, take a step back, listen to music or do some relaxation exercises. This way other people cant affect you with their negative mindsets or horror predictions.
  • Even after the exam you should stay away from energy vampires. Treat yourself to some mental relaxation and dont involve yourself in What were your results on task three? conversations.
  • And to be honest: what happens in the worst case? If you fail, there will certainly be an option of retaking the exam.

We will keep our fingers crossed for you and wish you all the best for your exams!


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What Can You Do

Test anxiety can be a real problem if you’re;so stressed out over a test that you can’t get past the nervousness to focus on the test questions and do your best work. Feeling ready to meet the challenge, though, can keep test anxiety at a manageable level.

Use a little stress to your advantage. Stress is your body’s warning mechanism it’s a signal that helps you prepare for something important that’s about to happen. So use it to your advantage. Instead of reacting to the stress by dreading, complaining, or fretting about the test with friends, take an active approach. Let stress remind you to study well in advance of a test. Chances are, you’ll keep your stress from spinning out of control. After all, nobody ever feels stressed out by thoughts that they might do well on a test.

Ask for help. Although a little test anxiety can be a good thing, an overdose of it is another story. If sitting for a test gets you so stressed out that your mind goes blank and causes you to miss answers that you know, then your level of test anxiety probably needs some attention. Your teacher, a school guidance counselor, or a tutor can be good people to talk to test anxiety gets to be too much to handle

Watch what you’re thinking. If expecting to do well on a test can help you relax, what about if you expect you;won’t do well? Watch out for any negative messages you might be sending yourself about the test. They can contribute to your anxiety.

Get A Good Nights Sleep The Night Before

This is one of the most important tips I can name but its so often neglected. You should rest and have a good nights sleep before a test or exam.

If you dont youll feel tired and depleted of energy during the test or exam. And thatll only increase your anxiety.

I always tell people: keep organised during the semester. If you do, you wont need to compensate during exam season.

Also, its important to sleep well always, not only before a test or exam. Its proven that lack of sleep hampers the memory.

So, the best thing you can do to improve your grades is by getting a good nights sleep.

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