Test Anxiety • You’re not alone if your nerves go haywire over a test. Test anxiety comes in different shapes and sizes from a small feeling of butterflies to a severe case of physical sickness. There are three reactions in test anxiety:
Test Anxiety • (1) Mental blockade reaction where the gates close to the info you need to access; • (2) Physical reaction where you sweat, feel butterflies, or feel ill; • (3) Both mental and physical reactions.
Consider the Worst. • What’s the worst that can really happen? Fail test Fail class Lose scholarship Kicked out of school Live with parents the rest of your life STOP the insanity! You may chuckle about the absurdity when you deduce the outcomes. The first deduction – failing a test – may be justified. Will you survive? Probably so. Just take the class again if you need to. The hard facts are rarely as bad as our worst fears. Facing your fears make them more manageable.
Avoid Other People. • Sometimes a cadre of students will gather in the hallway before a test to hammer out last minute details. Also, you may be asked, “How much did you study for this test?” Avoid these situations like the plague. Your anxiety will only be fueled by this situation as you begin to wonder if you studied enough. You don’t want to second-guess your confidence of knowing the material.
PRACTICE HOW YOU PLAY. • If your test is in BIO 139, go there to study and/or take a practice test. Put yourself in the location in which you learned the material; this will make for a faster recall of information.
Practice Relaxation Techniques. • Anyone up for some yoga? Go to a happy place. Run around campus. Hey everyone, let’s meditate! Rid your body of nervous energy and force it to harness the mental energy you possess. Taking deep breaths is the simplest of these techniques. (Squeezing and relaxing muscles while sitting in class helps). The idea is to relax your body by focusing your mind on one thing at the exclusion of everything else. You will greatly increase your performance with a confident attitude than with a stressed attitude.
Study Early and Often. • Studying early and often will instill confidence and security about the material.
Get Professional Help If you find yourself withdrawn, having thoughts of death, depressed for several days, or feel hopeless, you’re not alone. These feelings are common for students. For young adults ages 15-25, suicide is the second leading cause of death.