10 Tips to Overcome Test Anxiety
If you’re taking a class (or were one in the past) likely you’ve felt anxious ahead of a big test. A small amount of nervousness is often beneficial, giving you an adrenaline rush that will help you perform your highest. However, if your prior-test anxiety gets so high that it impacts your performance, you are probably experiencing test anxiety. Check out this article to learn more about ways to beat test anxiety.
What is What is Anxiety?
Test anxiety is a mix of emotions such as worry about, fear, and dread–along with physical signs of fight or flight people experience before and during the course of a test. It’s a type of performance anxiety, when the pressure for success becomes so overwhelming that test takers have difficulty focusing and function at 100%. There is a certain degree of stress around test-taking is normal, but when exam anxiety symptoms cause anxiety attacks, hinder learning, or hamper performance, it’s crucial to figure out ways to reduce this response.
What is the cause of anxiety during tests?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America(ADA), test anxiety is caused by the following causes:
- Fear of failure The fear of failure, also known as atychiphobia anxiety about failure can negatively affect our performance. Students who attach their sense of self-worth with the result of the test are more likely to suffer from this anxiety.
- Unpreparedness: Knowing you didn’t prepare enough in preparation for the test day may contribute to feelings of anxiety and fear.
- Insufficient testing history If you’ve scored poorly on other tests or are reliving negative experiences from testing situations, you may find yourself in a cycle of negative emotions that could affect your performance on subsequent examinations.
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Signs and symptoms
Symptoms range from mild to severe and can include:
- Psychological symptoms: Feelings that include sadness, anger, fear insecurity, fear, and anxiety. More severe symptoms include depression and low self-esteem.
- Physical symptoms include headaches or diarrhea, a feeling of sickness, breathlessness the heart rate increases and lightheadedness. In more severe instances, test anxiety can result in a panic attack.
- Positive self-talk, behavioral or cognitive symptoms in comparison to others, fidgeting, and problems concentrating. In certain instances anxiety may become so extreme that students are forced to drop out of school.
Tips for Overcoming Test Anxiety
How do you overcome test anxiety? Here are some test anxiety tips to help:
- Be prepared: A lack of preparation can drastically increase test anxiety. One of the best ways of coping with anxiety before a test is to make sure you are well-prepared the next time you are taking tests. This includes studying hard in bed, getting enough sleeping, and showing up to classes early.
- Alter your breathing. Anxiety causes shortness of breath and a racing heart. In order to control theseissues, you can practice regulating your breathing. Take a deep breath through your nose before exhaling using your mouth. This will lower your breathing and help you regulate your heart rate.
- Maintain a positive outlook: negative thoughts or catastrophizing could lead to more severe symptoms of exam anxiety such as depression. Set reasonable expectations for yourself . Also, remember that your self-worth should not be tied to your performance of a test.
- Enjoy more laughter: Laughter is the best natural remedy to improve your mood and helps combat stress. You can try watching YouTube videos , or listen to a hilarious podcast the next time you’re being stressed.
- Stay healthy: Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is vital for your mental and physical well-being. Always ensure you’re getting enough daily exercise, sleep well, and do self-care.
- Chewing gum while taking a test can help keep your mind focused upon the task at being completed and away from negative thoughts.
- Consider yoga and meditation. The practice of meditation is a great means of preparing your mind to be able to handle challenging situations more peacefully. It can help you concentrate your attention and eliminate negative thoughts as they enter into your mind. Yoga is a kind of meditation that syncs breathing by moving your body, creating an awareness of somatic sensations and decreasing stress.
- Listen to music: Music has a profound power to affect your mood. Before taking a test, try listening to music to ease your nerves. Slower tempos can relax your muscles and quiet your thoughts. Additionally, dancing to a fast-paced tune can help you release tension.
- Have a playdate with your pet: Studies suggest that spending time with pets reduces stress and anxiety in humans. If you don’t have any pets, think about taking in an animal or letting it sit.
- Speak to a counselor: Your personal therapist, or a counselor at the health center in your school can assist you in coming to understand your test anxiety and provide tools to change it. Many schools have resources devoted towards helping students get over test anxiety.
If you’re experiencing extreme test anxiety, you are not all alone. Use the advice above as well as contacting the counseling center at your university for support.