Many students find that days leading to a test can be very stressful. It is not too uncommon for us to feel rather anxious before exam begins and the more crucial the exam, the more heightened the stress. Experiencing a bit of test-taking anxiety should be normal and this extremely common for nearly everyone. But, as long as our anxiety doesn’t really prevent us from having good performance, then we shouldn’t be worried. In reality, anxiety is our natural responses to mental tensions that people feel when they’re concerned that they might fail in doing something important. On the upside, a healthy dose of test-taking anxiety may serve as a great motivator and it causes us to study much harder than we would when we lack anxiety at all. Obviously, experiencing too much test-taking anxiety wouldn’t be a particularly pleasant thing to have; this situation can hurt our overall performance to properly do things at our best. If we believe that anxiety could start to significantly hurt our overall performance on important tests including a college entrance or driving test exams, this may become a very serious problem in our life.
We may feel rather emotional; this could be indicated by the intense feelings of anger, depression and insecurity. We may also have racing thoughts and our mind goes blank. People with anxiety could have difficulty in concentrating to lectures and books. Students may have negative self-talk when discussing with friends. They could suffer feelings of dread and always negatively compare themselves to other students. Students who gave difficulty in organizing our thoughts will less likely to perform well in exams.
If we experience multiple anxiety symptoms, it is important to prevent from making it severe enough and adversely affects our ability to have good performance in our test, we should also consider whether we may need professional helps to deal with symptoms of test-taking anxiety.
In order to avoid anxiety we need to:
- Be fully prepared. We should be well prepared before we go into our exams. We should know all the material properly enough that we can easily recall any important fact, especially when we are under severe stress. By being fully prepared, we build our confidence right before we begin the test. This straightforward method should help us alleviate a large proportion of our anxiety.
- Develop effective study habits: We shouldn’t wait until the very last minutes to review material and study. It is a bad idea to stay up late and cram all the information the night before. By getting enough and proper rests, we should be able attend classes more regularly and confidently complete all of those assigned tasks. We will also find it much easier if we are well prepared before we begin the test.
- Have an overall positive attitude: We should watch for any kind of negative self-talk and try to set proper realistic expectations regarding to our conditions. Therefore, we should encourage ourselves continuously to build our confidence. We could do this by not comparing ourselves to others.