Sitting in a daunting classroom surrounded by sweaty classmates, frantically cramming in final notes before the professor drops a packet of paper in front of you is a shared experience few enjoy.
Test anxiety is a real thing. Whether we’re prepared or not, things can quickly change once the pencil hits the paper.
We need to establish techniques that can combat dreadful test anxiety and give us the boost to succeed in our classes so we can strut the stage on graduation.
For one, cramming is absolutely a no-go. When we cram, the information is retained only temporarily,, and does not actually stick in our brains as knowledge to use in the future. By studying early and pacing ourselves, we will be more prepared and less stressed both the night before, and on the actual day of testing.
When scrambling to take in information, it is important to take multiple breaks as well. Studying is exhausting, and eyes glued to a screen is never healthy either. By taking a few gaps during studying to have a snack, watch a TV episode or chat with friends, we will feel more settled down and motivated to do work.
One of the most important things we can do for our bodies to battle test anxiety is to get a good night’s worth of sleep. All night cram sessions only cause us to be less focused, groggy, and we will likely not perform our best the day of. Having a complete rest will help us to be in our best, most energized state to conquer our exams.
Overthinking is a huge component of test anxiety. In most cases, we are already well prepared for the exam, but the anxiety that pours in before walking through the doors causes us to spiral. We should reflect on past experience and keep in mind that we have taken hundreds of tests in our lifetime, and good or bad, we have gotten through it and are still here pursuing a degree. Sometimes we just have to take a breath and remember that not everything is in our control, and sometimes it is OK to not know every ounce of material. Let nature run its course.
To defeat test anxiety in its tracks, we need to keep in mind that everyone is feeling the same thing. Remaining realistic and realizing that this singular test is not defining us as people will set us on the right path to success. Test anxiety is so prevalent while in college, and it is up to us to take the right steps to avoid these pesky feelings.