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Test anxiety and how to cope with it

Posted on: Sunday, November 28th, 2021


You paid attention in class, took thorough notes, read every chapter, and even stayed after class to study, so you should ace that huge exam, right? Well… unfortunately this isn’t always the case. The day of the exam comes, you get so tense that you forget the answers to even the most basic questions. You are distracted, unfocused and no amount of studying you did seems worth it anymore. If this seems like anything you’ve gone through, you might be experiencing test anxiety.


It’s natural to feel a little anxious and concerned prior to an exam, almost everyone does. In fact, a little bit of anxiety before an exam can really help you do better. Test anxiety, on the other hand, can be rather severe for certain people. The anxiety they experience before an exam can be so intense that it impairs their concentration or performance.


Some students simply have minor test anxiety symptoms and are nonetheless able to do well on exams. Others are nearly paralyzed by their worry, having panic attacks prior to or during exams, and ultimately not doing as well as on the tests as they should be. ​


But there’s no need to worry! There are multiple strategies you can implement to reduce test anxiety. Make sure you’re prepared; this may seem obvious, but if you feel confident about your preparation, you’ll feel more confident walking into the exam hall. Getting a good night’s sleep is also very important if you want to do well on your exam. It can be very easy for students to cram the night before an exam and pull an all-nighter, but doing this can have severe negative consequences


Although test anxiety won’t go away overnight, facing it and coping with it will help you learn stress management, which can be useful in a variety of scenarios other than tests. If you’re still having trouble managing your test anxiety, speak with a mental health professional or your primary care physician for more information on potential treatments.


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