Tips for combating test anxiety

  • What causes test anxiety?

  • The expectation that you will not do well on the test
  • Not being prepared and worrying about past tests, how others are doing on the test, and what might happen if you fail

    How does your body feel?
  • “Butterflies” in your stomach, stomach pains, or nausea
  • Headache
  • Tense muscles
  • Feeling like you might pass out
  • Sweating
  • Shaking

    How to combat test anxiety
  • Be prepared
  • Study early, often and effectively
  • Learn and use memory cues
  • Write down any formulas you might need before you start the test so that you don’t worrying about forgetting them

    Be comfortable
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Dress in layers so that you won't be too hot or too cold
  • If possible, get up and stretch occasionally
  • Change positions in your seat

    Encourage yourself
  • Maintain a positive attitude when studying and while taking the test
  • Use positive reinforcement – tell yourself, "I can do this!"

  • Don't panic
  • Avoid talking to other students who are nervous or saying negative things
  • Visualize a peaceful setting
  • Take deep breaths
  • Relax your muscles
  • Take your time
  • Skip questions you don't know and come back to them later
  • Don't worry about how fast other people are going
  • Use your time wisely

    Take care of yourself
  • Eat a healthy breakfast
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks and other foods that increase anxiety
  • Get a good night's sleep
  • Get regular exercise for a few days before taking the test