If you were in a room of college students and asked them what gave them the most anxiety about school, you would probably hear a similar answer – high-pressure tests. Some say that successful test-taking is a practicable skill, while others would argue that no matter how many you take, test anxiety is almost always inevitable. Tests in college are unavoidable, so what can be done to overcome the anxiety that inevitably come with them?
To understand how to overcome test anxiety, it is important to recognize why some students experience these feelings. Usually, it is caused by the fear of the unknown and pressure to perform well. While many college professors provide their students with study guides, there are some that do not. However, even being given a study guide does not guarantee that one will be fully prepared for the test.
Additionally, test anxiety can be a result of the fear of failure. Pressured to do well in their classes, many college students struggle with overwhelming nervousness. Because of this they freeze up and “lose” all the knowledge they spent hours gaining. So, going back to the original question of whether test anxiety is manageable, we have good news for you – it is! Here are some tips to manage your test anxiety:
- Understand Your Learning Style
Identifying and understanding your learning style can be the key to overcoming test anxiety. It will allow you to have a better idea of what you can do to learn and retain information better. There are different learning styles, and pinpointing whether you process information bettery by seeing, hearing, or doing can help you know how to prepare for tests. There are multiple self-assessment online quizzes that will help you understand yours. Once you know your learning style, you will be able to come up with efficient strategies that will help you stay focused and do much better on your tests.
- Think Positively
We have all heard our parents or friends say that “positive thoughts lead to positive results.” And this is definitely true. A positive attitude will help you reduce stress and improve your overall health. The worst thing you can do is to go to the testing center with a mindset that you are going to fail. These pessimistic thoughts will amplify your test anxiety and make it harder to remember information. Instead, develop a habit of positive self-talk, which will help you in the long run. Additionally, use social media as a valuable and accessible tool to find empowering posts that will enhance your self-confidence.
- Enrich Your Diet With Brain-Healthy Nutrients
Most people would agree that one of the main reasons they may not commit to a healthier lifestyle is because they feel like they don’t have time to prepare healthy meals. There is a misconception among many people, especially college students, that leading a healthy lifestyle requires a lot of time and commitment. While it does require some diligence, adding nutrient-rich foods to your diet doesn’t have to be significantly hard or time-consuming.
To start your day off right, eat a healthy breakfast since it has been proven that a healthy early meal can improve your mental health. There are many quick and healthy on-the-go breakfast options that can give you the boost of energy you will need for the rest of the day. Following these little tricks can gradually and immediately help your overall body and brain function and make daily mental performance easier.
Most importantly, remember that you are not the only one struggling with test anxiety and that it is totally normal to feel overwhelmed by tests. In fact, it’s been reported that about 16-20% of students have high test anxiety and another 18% are troubled by moderately-high stress. To avoid the negative consequences that this nervousness causes, take action try the tips above to calm your nerves so that your anxiety does not control you. While you may not be able to eliminate tests or test anxiety, these are still a solid start to confronting these feelings and making learning, including test taking, more enjoyable.