Test Anxiety Tips
Rob Sepich, Stress Management Specialist
Do Your Best on an Exam
- Prepare in advance. Know which types of tests you struggle with and learn or practice test-taking skills.
- Review any returned tests. Check for mistakes in grading and study the comments written by the grader.
- Know the time, date, and place of the exam and what you need to bring.
- Start studying at least three days before the test.
- Develop an aggressive yet realistic attitude. Accept that you will do your best but also accept the limits of what you know at the moment.
- Don’t talk about the test with other students immediately before taking it if it makes you more nervous.
- Relax. Put your pencil down and take several deep breaths to clear your mind.
- Read all directions before you start answering questions, then look over the test and plan your approach. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification from the professor or TA if you have questions about the directions or anything else.
- Answer easy questions first and then work on the harder ones.
- Activity reduces anxiety. If you go blank while answering a question, simply go on to the next question or section. For essays, write down anything that comes to mind on scratch paper to stimulate your memory.
- Pay attention to the test, not yourself or others. Don’t worry about how fast others work.
- Keep track of time. Limit the time spent on each section to make sure you finish with a few minutes left to go over your answers.