Tips for Reducing Anxiety Before, During, and After the TestTest anxiety can occur before and after the test, not just during. This means that it’s important to target your management of anxiety during each of these timeframes. While experiencing anxiety symptoms even before the test may seem like a unique form of torture, the good news is that it provides opportunities and time to intervene on the anxiety symptoms long before you step into the testing facility.Below, we provide you with our top tips for combatting test anxiety. This list will help you gain insight into your personal sources of test anxiety and give you instructions regarding how to reduce your anxiety to a manageable and useful level. Practice and repetition are two key components to mastering test anxiety symptoms, so we encourage you to review this list often and practice as much as you can.Prior to Exam DayConsider the test performance and consider the preparation prior to the exam your rehearsal. Most thespians will tell you the best way to ensure good performance is to rehearse frequently and in the same conditions as you perform. What does this mean for test anxiety, you may be wondering? It means your preparation before the test greatly impacts your actual test-day performance. We recommend setting your stage carefully and strategically to reduce anxiety.
1Prepare thoroughly for the exam.Give your all in preparing. Knowing that you gave adequate time and effort to prepare for the exam can reduce your anxiety as you walk into the test. This may include:
Know the test format and content
Create a study plan and complete study guides
Make a Study Schedule and Avoid Cramming.
Don’t listen to those who say they only studied right before the exam; cramming is not the most effective or only way to prepare for an exam! Although some find cramming motivating, it can also cause an overload of stress.
Use a calendar to block off study times, working backward from the date of the test
Treat study times as protected times that cannot be usurped by other tasks like napping or watching the latest HBO saga
Aim to spread your studying out across weeks (maybe even months), building upon what you have mastered and learned each study session
Give yourself time to review
Overestimate the time you will need to study, rather than underestimate
Sometimes studying with a group helps hold you accountable for keeping a set time in your schedule.
Set the Stage for Success.
After a good night’s sleep, wake up and do something relaxing like taking a long warm shower, going for a run, and deep breathing
Eat a nutritious breakfast from the good food list above so that you have energy and are not hungry and distracted during the test. You may be nervous, so keep it light and take a snack
Review just a little bit of material prior to the test so that you can jog your memory and activate the area of your brain related to everything nursing
Approach the test with confidence and listen to music on the way to the exam to help you get energized and/ or relaxed
Say positive things to yourself: “I’ve prepped as much as I can,” “I will do my best,” “I get a treat after the test!”
Arrive at the testing site well in advance. You will already be anxious and don’t want to add anxiety about being late or not finding the site. Arriving early gives extra time for working through nerves
Wear a comfortable outfit you have been studying in
Drink water to help stay hydrated as anxiety can make your mouth go dry