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Test Anxiety

Generally, we all experience some level of nervousness or tension before tests or other important events in our lives. A little nervousness can actually help motivate us; however, too much of it can become a problem – especially if it interferes with our ability to prepare for and perform on tests.

Dealing with Anxiety

The first step is to distinguish between two types of anxiety. If your anxiety is a direct result of lack of preparation, consider it a normal, rational reaction. However, if you are adequately prepared but still panic, “blank out”, and/or overreact, your reaction is not rational. While both of these anxieties may be considered normal (anyone can have them) it is certainly helpful to know how to overcome their effects.

Preparation Can Help

Preparation is the best way to minimize rationale anxiety. Consider the following:

Changing Your Attitude

Improving your perspective of the test-taking experience can actually help you enjoy studying and may improve your performance. Don’t overplay the importance of the grade – it is not a reflection of your self-worth nor does it predict your future success. Try the following:

Don’t Forget the Basics

Students preparing for tests often neglect basic biological, emotional, and social needs. To do your best, you must attend to these needs. Think of yourself as a total person – not just a test taker. Remember to:

The Day of the Test

To be able to do your best on the day of the test we suggest the following:

During the Test: Basic Strategies

Before you begin answering the questions on the test, take a few minutes and do the following:

During the Test: Anxiety Control

Curb excess anxiety in any of the following ways:

After the Test

Whether you did well or not, be sure to follow through on the reward you promised yourself – and enjoy it! Try not to dwell on all the mistakes you might have made. Do not immediately begin studying for the next test. . . indulge in something relaxing for a little while. 

NEED ADDITIONAL HELP?

The Counseling Center provides counseling for these and related issues, as well as information about, and referral to, other community resources.For more information come by the 3rd floor of the Student Center (Room 305), call 405-574-1326, or email counseling@usao.edu