Managing Test Anxiety: 40 Steps To Success

Getting Ready

  1. Use a daily planner.

  2. Organize your time—take control.

  3. Go to every class.

  4. Read your textbook: chapter summary and section titles first.

  5. Actively listen and actively read.

  6. Talk with your professor and TA—go to their offices.

  7. Practice: Work the problems. Tutor a classmate. Take old exams.

  8. Complete readings/homework several days before the exam.

Managing Your Anxiety

  1. Exercise: regular, routine, aerobic.

  2. Challenge negative thinking, create positive thoughts.

  3. Take study breaks.

  4. Alternate science, math, humanities studies.

  5. Practice deep muscle relaxation.

  6. Utilize relaxed breathing strategies.

  7. Break work into manageable portions.

  8. Take a mini-vacation or a mind vacation.

  9. Keep regular and consistent sleep patterns.

  10. Eat right. Limit sugar and caffeine.

  11. Express yourself. Share your feelings, fears, etc.

The 24 Hours Before an Exam

20. Get a good night’s sleep.

21. Transition into sleep.

22. Eat a healthful breakfast.

23. Review notes as appropriate.

24. Exercise before the exam.

25. Go to the exam room early enough to select a seat to maximize your performance.

26. Do not discuss course material before the exam.


27. Employ positive thinking strategies.


28. Practice relaxation strategies.

Taking The Exam


29. Read the exam directions.


30. Schedule your time.


31. “Dump” material.


32. Make an outline for essay exam questions.


33. Answer first the questions you know well.

34. Return to omitted questions later.


35. Answer multiple-choice questions before looking at the stem.

36. Read all stems before selecting an answer.


37. Ask for clarification.

Anxiety During The Exam


38. Get up and move: to the drinking fountain, to the pencil sharpener, to the wastebasket.

39. Employ relaxation techniques: tense and relax muscles, eat candy, use positive thoughts.

40. Visualize a calm scene.

 

Created by Kathleen H. Staley, Ph.D., for the University Counseling Service at The University of Iowa, 3223 Westlawn S, 52242-1100, 319-335-7294

Tagged: Test Anxiety