Taking a Test – Test Anxiety and Ways to Make It Better
We all know the struggle of taking tests. The anxious feeling every time you study the night before, the morning when you wake up sweating; terrified of how it’s going to play out, or when you finally take your seat, have your pencil in your hand, and can’t stop shaking. Relax – you don’t have to feel that stress any longer. There are so many ways to lower your stress level when it comes to test anxiety.
The number one way to lower your anxiety about tests is by studying for about an hour each day for as many days as you feel fit prior to the date of the test. While the amount of studying time for each person varies, the approximate correct studying time for small quizzes is 2 days, for medium quizes 3-4 days, for big tests 5-6 days, and for exams begin studying about 2 weeks prior to the test. By leaving your studies down to the night before, your stress levels become higher than they would be if you found some time each day to study. While your days may be busy, make it a priority to find time to study each day, even if it’s just for a little while.
Getting a good sleep should also be a priority for you, especially the night before a big test. Countless studies have shown the numerous benefits of getting a good night’s sleep. In high school, students should get approximately 8 hours of sleep depending on the person. Getting the right amount can lower your stress, and actually allow you to perform better on your tests as you will be more focused and awake.
Take breaks when you’re studying! Most people forget or ignore this extremely important part of studying. Many students try to cram all the information into their heads the night before the test as an attempt to study for as long as possible. However, by taking 15 minute breaks every hour of studying, you are giving your mind a break and you will absorb more information and learn more when you return to studying.
Remember to breathe as well. If you need extra help, talk to a teacher or get a tutor. Many teachers offer extra help before or after school, or even during lunch. Many tutors are also available; talk to your guidance counselor or a parent to setup tutor sessions.
It’s a small sacrifice to take some time to get extra help or to get a tutor, but it’s worth it. No one test can determine your entire future. Follow this guide to lowering your test anxiety and chances are your stress will be much lower and your grades will be much higher.