Lifestyle

Seven Strategies to Relieve Academic Test Anxiety

A group of students talking in their classroom

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When you have a big test coming up, it’s important to focus your energy on studying and getting your mind prepped. But, if you feel overwhelmed or have general anxiety about tests, that may be even more difficult for you to achieve. Try these preparation and relaxation techniques to help you take control of your feelings and get through your exams like a champ.

Study Efficiently, in Advance

Do you tend to procrastinate and wait until the night before a test to start studying? If so, that may be where some of your stress is coming from.

Instead, try studying a little bit, over time, in a quiet setting that’s similar to where you’ll be taking your upcoming test. The familiar place may help jog your memory once it comes time for the real thing.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Rest is needed to be able to perform academically. When you sleep a full eight hours at night, your body has time to wind down before it’s time to recharge.

The night before a big test, try your best to get a good night’s rest so you aren’t yawning through your exam.

Eat and Drink Ahead of Time

Food and water are the fuel your body needs to keep going. Energy drinks and other caffeinated items are known to increase anxiety. A healthy, filling breakfast will also keep you from being distracted by hunger during your exam.

Relax Your Body

Consciously relax all of the muscles in your body to release stress and tension. You can do this progressively, starting with all of the muscles in your head and work your way down to your toes.

Do this when you wake up on the morning of a test, as well as when you begin taking it.

Focus on Your Breathing

Focus your attention and energy on your breathing using some deep breathing techniques. Try taking three slow breaths, counting to three with each inhale and then breathing out slowly through your mouth while counting to six.

To get a deeper breath, allow the air you breathe in to fill and extend your stomach, releasing it as you breathe out slowly.

Think Positive Thoughts

Once your test has started, if you feel yourself starting to panic, try to envision a pleasant place or image in your mind. If this doesn’t help, find a focal point in the room to keep your mind focused and away from anxious thoughts until you’re ready to get back to your test.

Communicate Your Needs

If you have any questions about your test, don’t be afraid to talk to your instructor and get the information you need before the day of your test. Feeling knowledgeable and prepared can help you be confident in your performance and empowered in your journey.

Test anxiety can take a toll on students. Next time you have an exam coming up, try these strategies to help believe in yourself, feel confident in your abilities and know that you’re doing your best.

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