Coping with Test Anxiety
Last updated August 17, 2023
Have you ever been in the middle of taking a test, staring blankly at the paper below you, and felt like you forgot everything you studied? Or maybe you’ve found yourself feeling nauseous, distracted, or hopeless. These feelings are totally normal - but could be a symptom of test anxiety.
What is test anxiety and why does it happen?
Put simply, test anxiety is feelings of extreme panic, anxiety, or stress before, during, or even after an exam. While it’s normal to feel some level of nervousness during an exam, test anxiety can negatively impact your learning and test performance. Test anxiety can stem from a variety of things - maybe you failed a test before, or you feel pressure from your family and teachers to do well. It can also go beyond test anxiety - you could have generalized anxiety or be struggling with depression and not even know it. Talking to a school counselor or therapist can help you get to the root of what's really going on.
We know these feelings are real - and want to give you some useful tips to help you cope and succeed on every exam you take.
Revamp your study habits
Showing up to an exam feeling well prepared can help reduce test anxiety. More importantly, the earlier you prepare can help ease your anxiety in the days leading up to the test. Check out some of our best study and productivity tips to make the most out of your studying.
- Set up and personalize your study space at home
- Download one of these apps that can increase studying productivity
- Learn how to eliminate distractions and focus on studying
Get enough sleep the night before
You might have heard this before, but in case you haven’t: cramming is not effective! So don’t do it. Staying up late the night before an exam to study will likely only make you feel groggy and cranky the next morning, which can distract you from fully focusing during your exam so make sure you give your brain an opportunity to rest and recharge.
Eat and drink water beforehand
Have you ever felt annoyed or irritated for no reason, only to realize it’s because you haven’t eaten all day? Imagine feeling that way while trying to take a test - not ideal at all. Having adequate food and water in your system can help you focus more during your exam.
Still need help handling your test anxiety?
- Practice good self care - Whether you’re in high school or college, we have some self-care tips and activities for you to try out before your next exam.
- Ask for help - Your teachers and professors want you to succeed just as much as you do - don’t be afraid to talk to them and ask for help.
- Get professional help - Test anxiety can sometimes be a symptom of something bigger - like anxiety, depression, or imposter phenomenon. Talking to a professional about how you feel can give you some insight into why you feel that way, how to spot patterns in your mood, and help you prioritize your mental health.
We’re always here to help! Text #Hello to 33-55-77 if you have questions, need support, or want to talk.