Nearly all students feel anxiety over taking a test at one point or other. The sweaty palms, the pit in one’s stomach, the mind going blank for a moment — all of these conditions are normal. Even the most prepared student may feel anxious, but there are ways to prevent this condition from getting the better of you.
Never Neglect Your Health
Test-taking requires enormous mental reserves. It does you no good to forego sleep the night before or to skip breakfast because you have your nose deep in your notes. Getting proper sleep and fueling up before an exam will give you the energy you'll need to concentrate. Make sure that you eat a nutritious breakfast. Avoid sugary snacks that offer a temporary sugar high. You do not want to experience an energy crash in the middle of answering a tough question. Be at your physical and mental best.
Many students believe that studying involves merely hitting the books. In reality, studying is most effective when it becomes a process of pre-studying, studying and review. For example, before you study, skim the material instead of reading it cold. It will give you an idea of the content before reading in earnest, which will enable you to retain more of the material when you read it properly. Ask yourself questions about the material before you review, and write the questions down. After you read, close the book and try to recall as much as you can. Most, if not all, of these study skills will carry over into your career and make you better at your job as well.
Arrive Early and Breathe Deeply
These two actions are part of a larger tip. In essence, be calm. By their very nature, exams create stress, so you want to do everything within your power to eliminate unnecessary worry. If need be, map out in advance where the test will be given. Arrive early, and mentally picture yourself in the room taking the test. Find the clock in the room and make a note to periodically check the time. When taking the exam, breathe deeply and exhale slowly from time to time. Remember, if you are prepared well, you've got this!
These are just a few tips. In general, the more prepared and calm you are, the less text anxiety you will experience. Bear in mind that anxiety is a natural reaction. Identify it, analyze it — and then let it go.
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