In the second part of this blog series, we’ll discuss a few more ways to reduce stress and anxiety before your test, and methods of calming yourself during the test!
Blow off some steam.
You can’t study 24 hours straight before a test. It doesn’t help with your stress levels, and it doesn’t improve your learning permanence or productivity. When studying for a test, it’s imperative to take plenty of breaks to relax your mind, process the information you’ve learned during your study session, and keep a healthy life a balance. It really doesn’t matter what you do for your break—but activities as simple as spending some time outdoors, catching up on sleep, or having a beer with some friends can hit the refresh button on your brain and leave your feeling inspired and energized when you return for your next bout with your study material.
Keep calm, test on.
Once you’ve finally made it to test day, it’s critical to keep yourself in a relaxed and focused state of mind. We know—if you have test anxiety, this is easier said than done. But by taking control of your body and mind, you can make the testing process a little bit easier, and keep feelings of negativity and anxiety from taking over.
First and foremost, take your time when working on your test. While many of your classmates might speed through their tests, finishing first (or last) on your test obviously has no effect on your test grade. (Slow and steady wins the race, right?) Pace yourself, carefully select your test answers, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you put in your best effort possible on your exam.
If you start to panic or have feelings of anxiety during your exam, it’s time to pause and recollect yourself before returning to the task at hand. Practice some slow, deep breathing techniques to control your elevated heart rate, and close your eyes for a moment to promote peace and relaxation. If your anxiety becomes too extreme, leave the testing room for a “bathroom break”—this will allow you to truly collect yourself without the feeling that the whole class is watching you (they’re not).
Once you’ve turned in your test, there’s only one thing left to do: celebrate! After all of your hard work, stressful study sessions, and endless mental and physical preparation, you deserve to reward yourself for making it out on the other side and conquering your test—no matter what grade you get.