Have you ever walked into an exam room and felt as though your mind had completely shut down once the examiner walked in with the test papers? The next thing you know, your body is drenched in sweat and your fingers are unable to grasp the pen to write your name! In college, this is known as test anxiety.
Tips on how to deal with test anxiety in college.
- Take the time to study for the exam.
This is a common feeling among students who have not adequately prepared for the exam. The majority of students begin studying for the exam a week or two before the deadline. Doing a small amount of work per day – say, 30-40 minutes – is much more effective than trying to cram it all into one or two days. Test practice should begin as soon as you register for the course.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep before the Exam
When it comes to simple assessments, pulling an all-nighter can help, but it’s less successful when the subject is difficult. Getting a good night’s sleep the night before the exam will aid your brain in remembering what you learned while studying. It doesn’t work as well to work in the wee hours of the morning right before the exam. During the review period, the mind must be fresh in order for ideas to flow freely. Allowing your brain to relax will help you overcome test anxiety in college.
- Relax by taking a deep breath.
This is an easy but powerful method for calming your mind. Your mind can be racing and anxious just before the test starts, resulting in test anxiety. Take three deep breaths to relax before beginning the exam. Count to seven while inhaling. For four seconds, hold your breath. Exhale for eight seconds after that. You’ll instantly realize that you’re in control of yourself, your heart rate will drop, and you’ll gain trust.
- Focus on you
Don’t get carried away by comparing yourself to someone or believing they’re better prepared. This encourages test anxiety in college and makes it more difficult to apply the experience to the exam. Instead, concentrate on the issues and begin writing down what you already learned. Focusing on what others are doing will obstruct your ability to think and undermine your self-assurance.
Everyone, once again, has their own approach to solving problems in the exam. You may be familiar with a different formula or system. If you pay attention to the person next to you, you can develop test anxiety if you notice they’re doing something different from you.
- Engage in group discussion
Being alone while studying will not help you overcome test anxiety in college. You’ll be ahead of the pack if you learn to work in groups. You’ll also spend less time learning and people will be able to spot your errors and help you learn faster. Also, whether or not you can teach a college subject to someone else is the true test of your understanding.
- Consider the positive.
Negative feelings should be avoided in the exam room. Test anxiety in college is caused by a lack of trust, and thinking positively is a simple solution. Negative thought interferes with your mind as you plan for the exam and during the test, causing you to forget what you’ve learned. Fake it ’til you make it, as they say.
Exams are a necessary part of the learning process, and failing an exam does not mean you have failed the course. Instead, figure out what went wrong and work to fix it the next time. Test anxiety is a real thing in college, but once you realize it’s a possibility, you’ll have everything you need to conquer it.