One-Minute Guide to Reduce Test Anxiety

Test anxiety causes many uncomfortable symptoms, including nausea, increased sweating, shallow breathing, insomnia, and inability to concentrate. There are several short- and long-term ways to reduce test anxiety:

When will I study? First, figure out how much time you have before the exam and jot down a quick study plan, even if it's only for 15 minutes during your lunch break over the next week. Studying can reduce test anxiety significantly.

What if I panic during the test? You need to think ahead of time about how you will handle anxiety if it happens during the test. The best plan is to accept the anxiety as normal (rather than fighting against it), practice deep breathing, and go for a quick walk around the building before sitting down to take the test.

What about diet and exercise? If you want test anxiety to be less of a problem, you will need to make some overall lifestyle changes. Reducing the amount of caffeine in your diet, striving for well-balanced meals, and getting enough rest will all help you to better cope with exam stress. An exercise program would be a good idea - several sessions of aerobic activity a week, like brisk walking or jogging, will help your anxiety level.

What if I always save studying for the last minute? You should definitely kick the procrastination habit. If you are a procrastinator, you need to hold yourself accountable for tackling this common roadblock to success. Find tools that work for you: Some people benefit from using a timer set to 15 minutes to get them started studying; others need a support network like a study group or partner.

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Last Updated: 12/14/2017

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