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Fighting Test Anxiety: Helpful Tips

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Student Taking Test

Being worried about something means that you are taking it seriously. However, if you are too anxious, it can stunt your chances of doing well. Therefore, it is crucial to learn how to tame your fears and use them to your advantage rather than detriment.

In this article I will try to delineate some key advice on how to handle test anxiety and become a successful student.

Identify the Reason

The first step in combating this problem is, of course, figuring out what caused it in the first place. Maybe, you simply do not know what to expect from the test, and it is making you nervous. Perhaps, you already failed once, and it is your second attempt. Or you simply attribute too much importance to this one little exam.

Once you pinpoint your personal psychological dilemma, you will be more capable of tackling it. It is never enough to just tell your brain to stop releasing cortisol. You need to know what button to press.

Prepare for the Test

Yeah, Captain Obvious. It may sound trite, but it actually works. The more familiar you are with the text, the less likely you are to fear it. It will be like hanging out with a friend rather than a complete stranger.

However, there is a catch. You need to choose the right study method in order for it to work. Just a general tip – try recalling the information instead of just reading through it. It will help you solidify the new facts in your memory.

Let the World Know

The easiest way to make test anxiety less of a monster and more of a pet peeve is to talk and write about it. I kid you not; your friends are probably just like you. If not, then at least you can learn from their confidence.

It is scientifically proven that sharing your problems or writing about them can actually make them seem less grand and fearsome. So, do not be ashamed of your feelings. Let the world know about them!

Know Why You Failed

When a person fails, it is very tempting for them to just obliterate the event from their memory. However, this is a wrong way of dealing with the unpleasant situation. First of all, even if you are determined to forget about the mistake, it is going to loom over everything you do on a subconscious level. Second of all, if you do not understand what you did wrong that time, you will never be able to correct your original errors. Thirdly, it is a mere act of dishonesty.

So, go and look over that exam sheet which you smeared with your ignorance. Ask your teacher for feedback. Discuss it with your more successful friends. Accepting your imperfection rather than denying it is the first step to becoming a better person.

It Is All Temporary

Remember – regardless of how important the test seems now, it is not going to determine your life indefinitely. It is just that – some test, not a matter of life and death. Your health and emotional well-being are much more important.

It is okay to feel anxious and insecure. It can actually boost your adrenaline level which can make you work harder. However, do not let your feelings undermine hours and weeks (sometimes even years) of hard labor. You deserve better. 

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