Let’s Talk Test Anxiety

There are a lot of us out there that experience some level of anxiety when taking a quiz or exam.  Just the thought of having to take a quiz or exam is unpleasant to most, let alone having to actually take it.  Sometimes the level of anxiety experienced can cause students to perform poorly on a quiz or exam.  This is when you know it is a problem.  What can one do to minimize test anxiety?  Here are a few practical tips I have found on the topic:

  • Stay positive – Negative self talk, especially while taking a quiz or exam will not do you any good.  Try to keep positive thoughts in your head even if they seem a little much, they will give you a boost.  Tell yourself you’ve got this!
  • Be prepared – If you did not study or studied very little then there may be genuine cause for anxiety, but if you put in enough work leading up to the exam you should find yourself more at ease.  Make sure you are aware of what the quiz or exam will be testing, the more content/details you know about, the easier it will be to study and not worry about if you are studying the right material or not.
  • Focus – Do not pay attention to people (or objects) around you, noises in the room, or the clock (even if you are being timed).  Concentrate only on the task at hand which is the quiz/exam.
  • Don’t Panic – Whatever you do, do not panic remember you’ve got this!  Take a deep breath or two if the anxiety is getting to an uncomfortable level.  Move onto another question if you are stuck on one or are becoming intimidated by a specific question.  Action keeps the anxiety at bay.
  • Do Your Best – I know this may sound cliché, but if you really think hard about all of the answers and put forth a good effort, then no one can argue about how you do.  No matter what the outcome, I usually feel pretty good about the work I have done if I know I did my best.