We've all been there - tapping our pencil, bouncing our knees- filled with test anxiety right before the big test. Sure, you can take some calming breaths while tensing and relaxing those muscles, but the toughest test anxiety war can be waged in your head.
The following five test anxiety tips will help get those nerves settled right before you take the big test. So read on!
Test Anxiety Tip #1: Set Realistic Expectations.
You may never score perfectly on the big PSAT, SAT, MCAT, APs and you know what? That's okay! Drop the image of who you think you should be.
Practice with a test booklet, so you know what you can and can't do. Part of your test anxiety may be coming from expectations.
Test Anxiety Tip #2: Say, "I choose to."
Instead of saying "I have to take this test," wrap your lips around this phrase: "I choose to take this test." By focusing on the fact that the test you're taking is set up by your own design, you take ownership of the stressor and that possession can have a relaxing effect, calming your test anxiety down a little bit.
Test Anxiety Tip #3: Use Positive Imagery
If you can mentally transport yourself to a place that is soothing to you from the comfort (or lack thereof) of your desk chair, you can ease some of the test anxiety building inside of you. Bury your toes in imaginary sand. Feel the warmth of the sun on your shoulders. Listen for the lap of waves breaking against a warm beach. You'll be surprised how much test anxiety you can alleviate by just transporting yourself to a place without a ticking clock.
Test Anxiety Tip #4: Repeat an Uplifiting Phrase
Much of our test anxiety comes from our own lack of confidence, and since your cheering section can't sit with you during the test and root for you, you're going to have to boost your own morale. One good strategy? Repeat a positive mantra. Try a phrase like, "I can do this," or "I deserve to achieve my goals." Say something positive to yourself for a quick confidence boost, and who knows! You may just start believing it.
Test Anxiety Tip #5: Squash Negative Voices
We all have them in our lives – the naysayers. Those people who aren't happy with their own lives and want to pull us down. Maybe they've told you you'd never make it to grad school. Maybe they said you'd bomb the big test. Those thoughts can leave you burning with test anxiety.
Before testing, take a few moments to jot down the negative things you've heard on a scrap sheet of paper. Then, compose some rebuttals. If someone has always told you you'd never amount to much, then counter with the fact that you're sitting for this big test, one that could possibly alter your future for the better.
As an added test anxiety relief, wad up the entire piece of paper and toss it into the trash.
There are many more Test Anxiety Tips. Try these out first and for more information about our Coaching sessions, contact Lee Academia.
Stephenie, having been a tutor/instructor/mentor since 1996, discovered her passion and founded Lee Academia Educational Consulting, LLC. after she left the dental and medical field. She loves teaching/mentoring and counseling her students. Her passion lies in educating others and helping them pursue their educational path. Today, certified in College Counseling and with more than 10 years of experience, Stephenie and her team continues to blog about current updated educational news and events.
Lee Academia Educational Consulting, LLC