Test-taking anxiety is a form of performance anxiety in which people get highly distressed by the pressure posed by testing situations that count on a good performance.
It frequently manifests physically through sweating, shaking, rapid heartbeats, dry mouth, and nausea or emotionally through depression, anger, low self-esteem, and hopelessness.
Listed are some tips to tackle test-taking anxiety:
1. Let go of perfectionism
The tendency to hold oneself to extreme standards of flawless perfection almost always results in disappointment that then causes depression and anxiety. Perfection is often a symptom of a deeper underlying issue such as fear of failure and shifting your mindset to a drive for success is only good for you in the long run.
2. Get enough sleep
Poor sleep and test anxiety are intertwined in a vicious cycle that feeds off each other. Sleep deprivation exacerbates cognitive performance and triggers mental and physical fatigue. Having a good night’s sleep is essential for improved memory and better attention during the actual test.
3. Long term preparation
This seems intuitive but its importance cannot be overstated. Preparation is strongly correlated with confidence and it translates into effective stress management and eventual success in the examinations. The best kind of preparation is the one that starts early.
4. Study schedule and no cramming
Having a study plan is sure to boost your productivity as the amount of material to be studied is accounted for in reasonable chunks at specific times. This is also an effective method for overcoming procrastination that often contributes to a lack of enough preparation.
5. Use smart test-taking strategies
Be sure to read all instructions carefully and to take your time to avoid careless mistakes. It is also smart to budget your time and to skip over the more challenging questions to avoid blanking out or worse, panicking. Test-taking strategies can improve the overall validity of the test scores so that they accurately reflect what students really know.
6. Avoid comparing yourself to others
Success is something that does not rely on others and is primarily linked to your self-satisfaction. Bearing this in mind, it seems unfair to yourself to judge yourself based on someone else whose goals and motivations are especially unique to them.
7. Engage in routine relaxation techniques
Daily mindful exercises like deep breathing practices, yoga, or meditation have been proven to relieve stress and boost your mood. Taking a break and allowing yourself rest is a form of self-care and it bears a lot of benefits, one of which is decreasing propensity to anxiety.
8. Expect some anxiety
Remind yourself that some amount of anxiety is important in keeping you alert and as long as it is kept in check with some control strategies, it is bound to prove more beneficial than harmful. It creates an adrenaline rush that is actually a good thing. It helps prepare you to deal effectively with stressful situations, ensuring that you are alert and ready
9. Reward yourself
To ensure that you stay motivated and honor the work that you have achieved, plan a reward for yourself during preparation for the test and after the actual test. This should stand whether you perform well or not on the test because your effort deserves recognition either way.
10. Implement needed accommodations.
If you suspect that you have a non-diagnosable disability, then you must consult a psychologist. It’s disappointing that the importance of test-taking anxiety is not emphasized in academic curriculums. Learning how to cope with it can help improve the quality of test-taking. Developing effective strategies can help minimize the effects of test anxiety on everyone.