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Test Anxiety Tips

  1. Check in advance for the exam format and the time allotment.
  2. Be well prepared for the exam; don’t “cram” for it.
  3. Get several practice or sample exams, and time yourself while taking them. Complete difficult examples, gaining confidence as you do so. Analyze your errors.
  4. One hour before the exam, have a low protein meal (yogurt) drink orange juice and avoid caffine. Get enough rest one to two days before the exam.
  5. Arrive early, but avoid talking to people who are anxious.
  6. Practice relaxation exercises and positively visualize the exam going well for you.

    Sample Exercise:
    • Turn the paper over and close your eyes.
    • Breathe slowly and count to seven, then exhale to the count of seven.
    • Continue slow breathing until you feel more relaxed.
    • Open up your eyes, turn your paper over.
    • Say something positive to yourself! (I am calm and confident. I will pass the exam.)

  7. Create a mental tape of completing the test successfully. Play the tape throughout the pre-test and testing period. Focus on past successes.
  8. Throughout the exam, focus on remaining calm, relaxed and positive.
  9. Take an overview of the exam, then read the directions twice.
    • Do not spend too much time on any one question.
    • Skip the harder ones and go back to them later as your confidence builds.
    • For essay questions, construct a short outline, then begin the essay.
    • If it is a math test and calculators are permitted, learn how to use them well ahead of time.
  10. After finishing the test, check your answers and proofread the exam. Check for reasonableness, omissions and your typical, careless errors.
  11. Allow yourself the entire testing period to finish the exam. Monitor the time, but don’t obsess about it.
  12. When completed, reward yourself for a job well done!