Thursday, October 6, 2011

Exam Fever : Dealing with Test Anxiety

anxiety exam
During an exam, most students experience a certain level of anxiety and this affects how they perform in the exam. This has become a major problem among most students raising the need to find ways of combating the situation.

Build Confidence/Preparation
Start by reviewing personal situations as well as skills. In most cases, academic counselors advise people to do either of the following.
  • Develop good studying habits
  • Manage time well and avoid procrastinations and distractions.
  • Organize material that needs to be studied. It is advisable to opt for a step by step strategy to avoid the possibility of getting overwhelmed.
  • Reviewing past performances and exploring ways of improving by learning from experience.
Prepare to Reduce Level of Anxiety
  • When taking a test, approach it with confidence. You can achieve this end by visualizing success. There are different tactics which can aid in achieving this end such as self talk, journaling and team work. The test should not be viewed in a negative light but rather, as a way of putting what you have learnt into practice.
  • Be well prepared. Learn the necessary material well and keep it well organized. Checklists come in handy to note what you have or don’t have.
  • Before talking the test, find a location that is comfortable. It should have minimal distractions and proper lightening to keep you focused.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to attend to any matter that might be of concern to you before starting the test. Get to the location where the exam is taking place well in advance.
  • Do not entertain the thought that you need to cram for the test.
  • Strive to attain a relaxed state. Also, stay away from students who talk negatively or are ill prepared for the exam. This will only serve to heighten the level of anxiety.
  • Sharpen the mind with an exercise program.
  • The night before the test, get enough sleep to keep the mind alert and relaxed.
  • The test should not be done on an empty stomach. It is recommended to eat some vegetables and fruits since they reduce the level of stress. Foods to avoid include artificial sweeteners, carbon soft drinks and foods with spices or other additives.
  • Take small snacks and other nourishing snacks to reduce the level of anxiety. Foods that are rich in sugar should be avoided.
During Test
  • Take time to carefully read instructions.
  • Budget on the duration you will use to take the test.
  • Regularly change positions in order to reduce the level of anxiety.
  • When you get to certain questions and go blank, skip and move to the next one.
  • If it is an essay test and your mind goes blank, pick a question, start writing and it will trigger the answers.
  • When students hand in papers, do not panic. There is never a reward for completing the test first.

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