Tools for Coping with Test Anxiety

Test anxiety. It’s a real thing and it can seriously get in the way of your performance on any exam. If you struggle with anxiety and overwhelm when faced with an exam, try using these tools to overcome the stress and just get to the test.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Don’t stay up the night before the test cramming. You will actually benefit much more from a full night of sleep. If you are well rested, you are far less likely to make careless mistakes on the exam and you will feel more relaxed and confident. Instead of staying up, make sure that you’ve put your time in studying in the days before the exam so you are prepared enough the night before to put aside your books and get some rest.

Eat Beforehand

Even though you may not feel like eating before taking a big test, you’re not going to perform as well if you’re writing an exam on an empty stomach. Have something nutritious and balanced that includes carbs, protein, and fruits/vegetables. A good example of a beneficial pre-test breakfast is a fruit smoothie, oatmeal, and a piece or two of bacon.

Show Up Early

Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to get to the test site. Set your alarm early enough that you have lots of time to eat breakfast, do your regular morning routine, and get to the testing site a little early. If you’re in a rush to get there on time, you’re going to feel frazzled and won’t have time to settle in and calm down before the test begins. 

Write Something Down

If you don’t get something down on the page quickly, that blank exam booklet staring you in the face can start to generate a lot of anxiety and make it harder and harder to start. As soon as you get the test and read the instructions, scan the first page for something you know the answer to and write it in. Getting a right answer immediately will boost your confidence and get your test flow going, so you can go back to the beginning and work your way through each question in a calmer state.


For even more tools for coping with anxiety about test performance, get in touch with our education coaches for a demo of how Language Power’s tactical thinking program can help you.

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