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What Can I Do About Test Anxiety?
Effective control of test anxiety involves working on several aspects.
Examine your attitudes toward testing.
- Think about why you become anxious when taking a test.
- Learn to set realistic expectations for yourself that are neither too high nor too low.
- Identify negative or self-defeating thinking that undermines your confidence in yourself. E.g. “I’m going to bomb this test.”
- Use logic to replace negative thinking with more positive, realistic thoughts such as “I have a lot of material to learn but I will stick to my schedule and concentrate.”
- If you need help, seek a trained professional counselor. Check the resources on the back of this brochure.
Learn productive studying techniques.
- Study in the same place all the time where you will not be interrupted.
- Develop a study schedule. Several short review sessions are more effective than a single long one.
- Attend every class session. Professors often highlight points in lectures that will appear on exams.
- Take efficient notes in a notebook. Read over your notes the same day. Keep notes organized and legible.
- Ask professors for extra help.
- Read textbooks effectively. Underline and review important points that are likely to be tested.
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam. Staying up late and cramming leads to fatigue, poor retention of the material, and reduced concentration, all of which contribute to anxiety.