Imagine you have studied hard for your exam in college. You have attended every lecture. You have learned everything by heart and you are ready to write your exam. Also, you have prepared by every means and you are confident that you would do great in the exam. Now, you sit in the examination hall and your teacher gives you the exam paper and you suddenly go blank. Sounds familiar? If anything like this has happened to you, you have experienced test anxiety.
Test anxiety triggers when students go through heavy-weighted grades like final exams. Moreover, it results in poor performance during the exams. Furthermore, it can also make learning tough and college life less enjoyable. So, you must find a way to deal with your test anxiety. For that matter, at first, you can seek expert assistance.
For example, James, a student with test anxiety issues shares his experience, I wanted a quick solution to my test anxiety and I asked an expert to take my class for me and educate me about ways to tackle anxiety effectively. And the best thing he suggested to me was to use an effective study strategy and focus more exam format.
Apart from this, let us learn about some expert-suggested strategies to overcome test anxiety in college.
What is Test Anxiety?
Student’s physical and emotional response to their test-taking is called test anxiety. As a result, students come across physical and emotional symptoms such as sweaty palms, faster heartbeat, nervousness, fearfulness, panic attacks, mind going blank, or some might start crying before the exam.
According to the American Test Anxieties Association, 18% of students experience moderate test anxiety. However, the percentage of high levels of test anxiety among students might go up to 16 to 20%. Moreover, not everyone with test anxiety issues is comfortable in seeking help. But if you are having test anxiety issues, you must remember, that you are not alone and seeking help may positively help you in the long run.
You might feel okay with subjects like history but can face high-level test anxiety in subjects like Physics. Moreover, you might start getting thoughts like, Can someone take my online course for me, to avoid any such anxiety issues? Let us tell you, test anxiety can be treated and it can stop after occurring one or two times. All you have to do is follow the strategies discussed in the article.
Strategies to Control Test Anxiety
If you have test anxiety issues, you can practice these strategies to minimize the effect and prepare yourself for the next exam.
Using an effective study strategy
Test anxiety can happen in both situations when you haven’t studied enough or haven’t studied using effective methods.
- Studying with distractions like Netflix in the background or chitchatting with friends would not be helpful. Moreover, you will not retain information for longer.
- Poor confidence in course content can result in anxiety. Hence, make a plan and manage your courses.
- Effective studying methods would help you save a lot of time and reduce test anxiety. These are the methods that engage you with the course.
Know your test format
- Not knowing the test format can result in test anxiety especially when you are a control freak.
- Ask your teacher about the test structure if they have not told you yet.
- Knowing the test format or marks weightage per question helps you develop effective study plans.
- There are websites like Quizlett to help you develop study plans when are stuck with thoughts like who will take my class for me to help with test format and structure.
Prepare all the needed test-taking elements
Do not go to an exam hall underprepared otherwise, it can trigger your test anxiety. Therefore, you must prepare all the needed test-taking elements like pen, pencil, calculator, etc. Prepare everything the night before your exam to eliminate any trigger risks.
Arrive to class early on exam days
Reaching late and missing the exam is one of the biggest fears students have during their exam days. Therefore, keep your timetable a little ahead of your regular time and reach your class early on exam days. There is always something uncertain that can happen like alarm clock failure, traffic, accident, etc. So, always be prepared and keep enough time margin to combat any such situations.
Avoid pre-test conversations with your peers
Students are always curious about how others are feeling about exams and how and what they have prepared. However, a pre-test conversation can be a bad decision as it can trigger your test anxiety. For example, if someone explains a concept differently than you have prepared, you will feel underprepared or end up questioning if you have studied the right thing or not. Hence, avoid these conversations as much as possible.
Effective 6 Ways to Combat Test Anxiety
- Practice breathing exercises to calm down your test anxiety symptoms like heart racing, sweaty palms, etc.
- Michael, a student suggested another trick, When I had asked an expert to take my online course for me, he had taught me a trick to take an exam easily. Take some minutes before starting your exam and jot down every important point you have prepared at the back of your question paper. This will help you on the exam.
- Time is crucial during exams. Hence, do not get fixated on one question. Leave it and move to another question for which you know the answer.
- Other students might make noise, like, I want another sheet, or I am done, etc. Do not focus on these noises and do your thing otherwise, it will trigger your test anxiety.
- You have to maintain a positive mindset before, during, and after an exam.
- If you are finding it tough to overcome test anxiety issues, then seek expert assistance from your school’s psychological department or other experts outside your school or college.
Test anxiety can turn a simple exam into a nightmare. Moreover, with the amount of academic pressure students are facing at present, issues like test anxiety have become a common phenomenon. However, we can luckily manage test anxiety with all the strategies mentioned in this article. So, make sure you follow them before you turn in for your other exam.