You might presume there are countless reasons to be anxious about your upcoming test, so it’s important to adopt a positive view on the situation to ensure your performance is not hindered in any way. However, there is a significant difference between anxiety and nerves. Let’s take a look at this in further detail.
Nervousness before an exam is nothing new. In fact, the vast majority of people will tell you that they felt similar nerves before they set foot inside the exam hall. This standard level of nervousness can even encourage a sharper mind and increased attention span, which would of course help in any exam scenario.
Test anxiety is more centred on your fear of the examination environment and what it represents. It may seem like a specialist issue but it can actually affect anyone at any time, depending on certain variables. You can be a student or an employee and still face the same anxieties every time you are tested.
Here are some helpful tips and strategies you can adopt to lessen the impact of test anxiety and prevent it from interfering with your performance on the day of the exam.
Establish an Organised Routine
Tests are all about preparation, whether that’s a few weeks of revision or an entire four-year period of study. Look to follow the same preparation steps as you always have, whether that’s using past experiences or getting help from someone with experience. You will feel assured with your preparation and significantly decrease stress levels on the day.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Surprised to see this tip here? Don’t be. A healthy diet does way more than improve fitness and physical appearance. It also makes you feel better about yourself and encourages a structured, well-organised and beneficial routine in itself. Do your best to avoid sugary foods and eat as much fruit and veg as you can, along with lean meat, nuts, seeds and other nutritious snacks. To ease stress before the big day, feel free to indulge in some treat meals, whether that’s a takeaway pizza or a humongous chocolate bar! It’ll feel like a real prize if you’ve avoided them for a good few weeks!
Talk to the Experts/Teachers
You need to be well-educated in terms of the test itself and not just the subject, so talk to the experts/teachers about what your exam or test will incorporate and the best method of approach. If you are feeling anxious about your test, make sure you tell your teacher before the day to get some incredibly helpful tips and an almighty confidence boost.
Get Lots of Sleep
Sleep is one of the most underrated benefits. It encourages our bodies to rejuvenate and be fully prepared for the following day. What’s more, the amount of sleep you get has been directly associated with your level of academic performance, so you can expect to get much better results if you sleep for a good 8-10 hours a night. Try not to stay up too late, even if there are numerous distractions around you. Switch off the TV and keep your phone well away from arms reach.
Learn the Art of Studying
Studying is an art that requires mastering, so don’t be afraid to approach somebody if you’re not sure where to begin. Take advantage of resources around you to get a better idea of what it takes to study effectively. Not only will this make you feel a whole lot more relaxed about your upcoming exams, it’ll also contribute significantly to your organised pre-test planning schedule. You also want to be fully aware of the necessary study materials, as this will affect how you feel before you start a test.
Examinations are scary propositions. Relaxation techniques just before and during your test will make you feel a whole lot more relaxed, as well as reduce your stress-levels and improve your confidence. Deep breathing, relaxing your muscles and meditating can all help, so feel free to take some time out during the exam to do one of these activities for 5-10 minutes.
Talk to Professionals/Counsellors
Psychotherapy focuses on unearthing the root of your anxieties in order to overcome them and has proven to be extremely beneficial for people with mental health issues. Feelings, thoughts and behaviours all contribute to anxiety, so discuss with your parents, school or workplace about the possibility of working with a counsellor to discover what it is that’s causing your anxiety.
This article was provided by www.brightonandhovepsychotherapy.com, a large team of experienced clinicians each specialising in the different forms of cognitive therapy, neuroscience and psychotherapy.