After all the hard work you have put into academics, taking exams should be an easy feat. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many students.
When called upon to write a test, many students suffer panic, experiencing symptoms ranging from chest pain, nausea, and accelerated heart rate to severe hopelessness. In extreme scenarios, some students even forget the concepts they had tackled a few minutes before the test.
Here, we will look at how to ease test anxiety, ensuring that you give your best shot at each exam.
What is exam anxiety?
Exam anxiety is a psychological condition where one experiences overwhelming nervousness and anxiety when presented with a test. Often, this nervous state results in an impaired capacity to recall and apply various concepts, leading to low performances.
The popular causes of test anxiety include:
- Poor testing history
- Low levels of preparation for a test
- Fear of failure
- Negative competition with peers
- External pressures. E.g., parental pressure
How to beat exam anxiety
If you are suffering from test anxiety, you are not doomed to suffer forever. These tips may come in handy to help you overcome anxiety and ace your tests.
- Get enough sleep
The fear of a test may cause you to forfeit sleep in a bid to catch up on various topics you feel you have given insufficient attention to. While this is a logical move, it may cause you better than harm.
Sleepiness may impair your ability to apply what you have studied, limiting your performance. Ideally, get ample rest to master maximum focus and concentration during your exam.
- Prepare adequately
Preparation ranks top among various test anxiety strategies for high school students. When preparing for your test, start ahead of time and tackle concepts in various chapters of your papers.
Also, take tests to gauge your comprehension and familiarize yourself with the testing approach of your faculty. This will boost your confidence to answer various questions in your test and avoid confusion.
- Start with simple questions
An effective way to manage anxiety is to find confidence that you are well prepared for the paper. For this, start by taking on easier questions, gaining momentum to handle more challenging questions.
After gaining confidence, you can tune into a relaxed state and gain better recall, applying what you had learned to various concepts on your paper.
- Avoid unhealthy competition
Competing with peers is often a downward spiral that inspires heightened feelings of underachievement. Learn to set targets for yourself and develop strategies to work towards these targets.
This will allow you to envision your success and over time, allow you to meet various goals, boosting your self-esteem.
Meditation is a great relaxation technique that should come in handy during your tests. Before starting on your paper, try to gather your thoughts and overcome various negative talk running in your brain.
When meditating, remind yourself that you have adequately revised, thus, are bound to succeed as the paper is testing areas you have revised. Also, try to regulate your breathing, to restore inner peace and improve your capacity to take the test.
- Visualize success
Hard work pays. A maxim that ranks true when it comes to academics. Before entering the exam room, remind yourself that you have covered all bases and thus, no surprise question can offset your preparation.
- Arrive early
This is perhaps the most common among test anxiety strategies for middle school. Arriving early in the exam room allows you ample time to meditate and offer yourself all the necessary affirmations.
- Listen to classical music
Music is a great solution to quell your mental noise and overcome test anxiety. Ideally play some slow-tempo music to reduce the levels of cortisol in your brain, gaining more composure for your paper.
Exam anxiety is a key struggle for many students. We hope that these tips will help you overcome your fear and ace your paper. All the best in your exams!