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How to say goodbye to test anxiety and hello to straight A’s

As you're walking to class, heart pounding and palms sweaty, you feel that familiar gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of your stomach. The "I'm going to fail" mantra is playing in your head like a broken record.

You sit down in your seat and try to act normal. You quickly side glance at the person seated next to you and think to yourself, "I wonder if they can hear my heart pounding?" As the teacher begins to hand out the tests, you wipe your clammy hands on your pants and grip your pencil tighter.

If this scenario seems to hit close to home for you, chances are, you may be struggling with testing anxiety. If it makes you feel any better, you're not alone in this struggle. Millions of college students feel the same exact way when it comes to tests and would rather get on stage in their underwear than fail one more math test.

As a college student who is far too familiar with testing anxiety myself, I have picked up a few tips along the way that should help you get over your fear of exams.

Tip #1

Skip. Totally kidding ... Unless?

But seriously... whatever you do, don't skip a test only because you're afraid to take it. If you think test anxiety is bad, try "make-up test anxiety." I promise you, it's a lot worse.

Tip #2


I know this may come as a shock, but studying for a test will actually help you on the test! I'll even reveal my favorite studying spot on campus ... the third floor of the Guerrieri Academic Commons (the silent study). It's great if you need to get away from your noisy roommates and cram for that test you "forgot" to study for.

Tip #3

This tip goes off the last one. Don't "forget" to study. Try not to procrastinate studying for an upcoming exam, because this will only worsen your anxiety when it comes to test day. The more prepared you are for an exam, the less likely you'll feel anxious thoughts about not passing it.

Tip #4

Try to relax. Don't put too much pressure on yourself when it comes to test-taking. Instead of cram studying, try to spread the studying sessions out before exam day. This way, you'll be less stressed the night before a test and have free time to relax and watch your favorite crime show on Netflix.

Tip #5

Talk to your professor. Most professors are understanding when it comes to taking tests, since they were also college students themselves at one point in time. They may be able to provide you with some methods on how to get over your fear of test-taking.

Unfortunately, test-taking has been and will continue to be a part of our education system. However, testing anxiety does not have to be. Teachers should do their best to acknowledge this fear that many students have and try to be as accommodating to these students as possible. Not everyone learns by studying for a 50-multiple-choice-question exam.

It's important to remember that being a good test-taker doesn't mean you have to show up to a test and ace it. A good test-taker is someone who comes to a test fully prepared and ready to receive the grade they deserve.



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