In College

"Battling Test Anxiety"

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed and anxious by a test? So overwhelmed you can even think? So stressed you are in shock for the first 5 minutes of the test?

Well, the good news is you are not alone
I never thought this would be a problem for me. Back in high school, I was killing it in every test. I would never get nervous or anxious or anything. 

And then I came took Physics I...

Oh yeah, that class was a huge challenge for me. And even now with Physics II I still found myself getting a little anxious, but I had learned to control it and manage it way better.

The first thing to be able to reduce, and even eliminate, the test anxiety is to address the reason why you are feeling it...

"I don't feel confident with the material"
If this is the reason of your test anxiety, then you are lucky. This is one of the easiest problems to solve. Just study more...

I know it is easier said than done, but really studying more will make you comfortable with the material. I like studying for a test at least two weeks before the test. This gives me enough time to get all the notes and materials necessary, read through all my notes, and find out which topics I am not comfortable with.

Usually I take this questions to office hours or to the tutorial center. By the time of the test, I am pretty confident about all the topics and that keeps me calm.

If you are just not feeling like studying, find some techniques to study.

"The test ambiance makes me uncomfortable"
If this is you, I feel ya girl! Big room with lots of people

There is so much that you can do about this one. It is not like you can just take a 30 minutes break during a test. But there are a few things you can do to minimize stress during it:
  • Choose a seat with no distractions. Even though looking out the window can seem like a good idea for distressing, you can get caught upo in the moment and lose too much time.
  • Stay away from the back of the classroom. You don't want to be looking at everyone else finish the test before you, that will only make the pressure grow.
  • Read all the questions before starting, plan how much time you are going to spend on each and localize the easy parts.
  • If you go blank, skip the question and look for a really easy one.

"If I don't get an A on this test I would be so disappointed"
This is to all the perfectionist out there, including me. Sometimes, thoughts like "This class is kinda easy, I have to get and A+ on it" can actually doom your plans of a great GPA.

I mean, it is great to strive for greatness, but there is no reason why you should pressure yourself to be perfect. We are all humans and life happens, college happens. Unrealistic goals are not good for anyone.

"I need to get an A to pass this class"
We had all been here, needing to get a certain grade to actually be able to pass a class. This is a really stressful scenario that I wouldn't wish even to my enemies (not that I have any...)

Thinking that you need to get an exact grade will only build up stress and anxiety. Instead of pressuring yourself, you should be using positive affirmations. "I am going to study real hard and do my best in order to do great in the test."

"I failed my last test and this is going to be the same"
There is no better recipe for failure than going into a situation with a negative mindset. Just as the previous one, positive affirmations are your best friends.

Also, since you failed the last test, you should have learned from that and studied smarter and harder. Sooo, there is no way this test will go just like the last one.

Some Extra Tips

Don't go to the test with an empty stomach, eat a nourishing snack minutes before going into the classroom.

Get a good night of sleep the night before, don't you dare to pull an all- nighter

Be early to the classroom, give yourself some time to get comfortable. And if you are lucky, your professor will let you start a little earlier

Take it slow, read the instructions, and don't forget to breath.

Don't forget to pin it :)

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