It is common to have test anxiety because the tests count towards whether or not you pass the class or course. In fact, those people who do not have anxiety about taking tests tend to do worse, as it does not matter to them whether or not they do well. It is stated in many studies that a certain degree of test anxiety is good as it will sharpen your senses and make you more alert during the test. The problem is, having too much anxiety or worrying too much can harm your test score. As your anxiety rises, your memory may start to fail, causing you to forget all the things you learned.
Anxiety is not the only thing that can hurt your test scores; other emotions can have a negative affect as well. If you are angry, depressed, and having a lack of confidence can also make you forget all of those things you knew like the back of your hand. This is why it is important to prepare emotionally as well as mentally for your tests, as this will help lower your test anxiety. In fact, preparing emotionally is about the only way you can prepare for standardized tests. The following is strategies you can use to help calm your test anxiety:
1. It is important to build up your confidence. This means that you need to make yourself believe that you will do well and pass the test. If any of you have taken psychology, then you know the following term is true in its meaning that you only do as well as you expect and the term is a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Now, you may be wondering how to boost your confidence, well, the answer is simple especially if you do the following:
- study the entire week before the test, so that you now the material
- hire a tutor if you need one
- Allow someone to help you study, this will show you that you do know the material
- Do not pay attention to the smartest kid in class because he is not worried about you.
After you do boost your confidence, it is important not to become over confident. A little anxiety is good and over confidences can cause you to become careless.
2. After you have boosted your confidence, you need to make sure that you are comfortable in the test room. Therefore, the next strategy is minimizing discomforts. You can minimize your discomforts by visiting the test room before hand. If it is possible, you could even do your homework in the test room so that you can get a feel for the room. You should pay attention to the following in order to make yourself as comfortable as possible during the test:
- Is the room cold or hot? You will be able to dress accordingly to which temperature it is to you.
- Are there any distractions in the room? For instance, if there is any wall are in the test room, look at it now and then you will not be distracted by it during the test.
- Meet the test giver if you have not already done so. This will allow you to have a friend instead of a stranger in the classroom.
It is stated that students will do better on exams in a classroom they are comfortable with.
3. For many students, college life is a roller coaster of depressed emotions, so, getting yourself happy the week of the test is a great strategy to help you do well on the test. So, indulge in something the week of the test and avoid depressing situations, this way you will be in the right mind set for the test.
4. When it is plausible and possible you should postpone the test. Of course, this is not always an option, and you should not postpone if you are just having a little test anxiety, but, if you are ill, for women right before menstruation, or if there is a family emergency try and postpone the test.
5. This next strategy involves getting rid of anger before you take the test. It does not matter if you are angry with your roommate or test instructor; tell your self that it is not worth losing good marks on your test. On the other hand, if you are angry about the test or test questions themselves, then you need help with your test taking skills, which this book can help you with.
6. You should only worry about what is real, which means, do not start imagining things to worry about. You should be worried if you have not studied for the test, but, if you have anxiety even after you have studied, this means that you have not developed good test taking tactics. Reading this book will help you develop those much need test taking skills.
7. The last strategy you should consider addresses a phenomenon known as test terror. Some people actually go past test anxiety in to full fledge terror about taking a test. They can have nightmares about the tests, blank out or black out when entering a test room or looking at a test, or become physically sick right before a test. Test Terror needs help from a certified psychologists.
All other forms of handicaps are given attention, this means that your inability to take test in a large group should too. The thing is, you will need to let your instructor know what is going on and may be offer a great alternative so that you are able to take and pass the tests. The following are some great suggestions to help you alleviate your test terror:
- Offer to write an extra paper or any other work that coincides with the course you are taking.
- Ask about getting a take home test instead of having to sit in with the class and is more difficult than the original test.
- Ask about taking the test in the teacher’s office with the teacher or assistant.
If none of these options are possible, there are techniques you can use to help ease the test terror. First, you will need to imagine yourself taking the test with out any fears or anxieties. Now you need to imagine you going through the entire test with out any fears while knowing all of the answers, plus, you got the best grade in the entire group of students. Now, remember a time when you did really well in a testing situation and keep running that memory through your head. All of the good thoughts need to be connected to the test you are about to take, and should keep running through your thoughts until you have completed the test. This is known as positive reinforcement and can help calm your thoughts during a test.
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