Almost everyone has dealt with test anxiety.
It's no wonder that almost all of us have had some type of anxiety attack at one time or another when we have faced an important test.
If you begin to feel your stomach churn and feel as if you can't cope the moment that you hear that a test is coming up, take action to battle this anxiety so that it does not affect you or prevent you from remembering the material that you know. Start building your self-confidence well before the test date. Take these steps to ensure that you stay in control before, during and after the test. You are in charge, and anxiety cannot control you.
Confidence is your best ally
There is no better help to reduce test anxiety than having confidence in your ability to succeed on the test. Confidence is something that you cannot buy or get from someone else. Your friends, parents and teachers can encourage you, but they cannot give you confidence. Confidence comes from past experiences – from knowing that you can pass the test that you must face. Confidence comes from consciously knowing that you knew the material when you reviewed it, and you still know it now when it is time to begin your test.
Build your confidence with practice
Self-doubt causes the fire of confidence to smolder and eventually stop burning within you. The trick to conquer any doubt that leads to anxiety is to take steps to prove to yourself that you can pass the test that you will face. Whether you are a kindergarten student who needs to know flash cards or a high school student facing the SAT or ACT, practice the material in small sections. This will help you to be successful in knowing the material so that your confidence builds naturally. When the time comes to take the BIG test, you can remember all of the successes that you had. You can also honestly tell yourself over and over that you know the material and that you will do well on the test.
Stop trying to be perfect
It also helps to overcome test anxiety when you tell yourself that you will do your very best on the test that you need to pass. Strive to be your best, not
to be perfect.
On a test like the ACT or SAT, you will use math and other skills that you have learned over many years of education. You are graded on what you know, not on being perfect. If you have taken high level classes, such as AP Calculus, you may have a good chance of scoring perfectly, but most students will never have a perfect score on standardized tests.
If you are facing another type of test, such as a music or dance performance that is causing you to be anxious, you can reduce your anxiety with practice. Just as practice builds confidence with academic subjects, it is also helpful in other areas in which you are tested.
Positive affirmations build confidence
Telling yourself many times over that you can pass the test, that you know the material, that you will do your best, that you can do it, and other
affirmations really do work, according to many students who have overcome test anxiety. You will probably doubt the effectiveness of these confidence-boosting affirmations, but try them well in advance of the test.
If you have a class presentation coming up and you are anxious about it, practice and prepare as thoroughly as possible. Then tell yourself over and over again that you can do it and that you will do it. You can also give this method a try for an upcoming quiz, or even for your nightly homework. Day by day, your confidence will build. When the big test day comes, your confidence will fill your body from head to toe so that there is no room for self-doubt or anxiety.