Testing anxiety means the association of uncertainty, apprehensiveness or fear with an exam.
It is often the testing deadlines that makes people feel as if they are in a state of survival. This situation puts them in fight mode, flight mode or shock mode. Neither of these modes are beneficial or advantageous for test taking. You are sitting down in a quiet room to focus for 45 minutes, not running from a bear!
There are 2 types of anxiety involved with testing.
Anticipatory anxiety- test anxiety experienced while studying
Situational Anxiety- anxiety experienced while actually testing
Furthermore, there are 2 category of results that occur from both types of anxiety.
Psychological effects- irritability, crying, frustration etc..
Physical Effects- Headaches, nausea, faintness, cold and hot body sweats.
Here are 4 Tips that will help you eliminate all of these problems with testing!
Tip #1 Study Your material in portions and sections.
Reward yourself for each portion finished even if you never get through all of the study material! Use a timer if it helps you to focus on one section for 20 minutes. The goal of your studying is to not let your thoughts stray from the subject matter as long as the timer is on! Be proud of each section completed.
Tip #2 Think of the test as a game!
The object of this game is to get collect as many points as you can in a certain time frame, not to worry about others! You will realize that the goal of the game has nothing to do with finishing first. Inwardly complement yourself each time you do well on a question on the test. If a certain question seems tricky, go to other easier questions to build some confidence, than come back to the hard ones and do your best. Expect curve balls in this game but remember that you control the test. The test does not control you and you will win in this game!
Tip #3 Do not study or review material 15 minutes prior to the test!
Everyone will be doing this. Instead of following their lead, relax and text a friend or eat a snack. Maybe read a good magazine you like that you brought with you. Make sure you arrived a little early so you can do this. It is a great way to prepare your mind for the test the right way and stay in a comfortable frame.
Tip #4 Go out and do something after the test even if you don’t know your score!
By going out, you are training your mind to avoid anxiety completely in the testing process! Ultimately this will help you with future tests. Remember, you have already turned in your test and just need to let nature take it’s course! Go out to dinner, enjoy some time with friends or see a good movie. In a couple days, get a head start on the new test material.
You are training your brain to associate good habits and feelings instead of anxiety regarding test taking.
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