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Counseling Services

Realize your Potential

Contact Us

Counseling Services
counselor@csmd.edu
8730 Mitchell Rd
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910
301-934-7577

Test Anxiety

Symptoms of Test Anxiety

You may experience some or all of these symptoms.
  • Physical symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, faintness, feeling too hot or too cold, etc.
  • Emotional symptoms, such as crying easily, feeling irritable, or getting frustrated too quickly
  • Thinking ability is affected causing a person to “blank out” or have racing thoughts that are difficult to control

Types of things to do to better manage Test Anxiety

Prepare well. Be well prepared for the test.

Self-Test. Include as much self-testing in your review as possible.

Healthy Lifestyle. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by getting enough sleep, good nutrition, exercise, some personal “down” time, and a reasonable amount of social interaction.

Positive Thinking. As you anticipate the exam, think positively, such as, “I can do OK on this exam. I’ve studied and I know my stuff.”

Thought Stopping. Engage in “thought stopping” if you find that you are worrying a lot, comparing yourself to your peers, or thinking about what others may say about your performance on this exam.

Organization. Before you go to bed on the night before the exam, organize anything that you will need for the exam—pen, pencil, ruler, eraser, calculator, etc. Double check the time of the exam and the location.

Good Night’s Sleep. Set the alarm clock and then get a good night’s sleep before the exam.

Be on time. Get to the exam on time—not too late but not too early.

Caution. Be cautious about talking to other students about the exam material just before going into the exam, especially if this will make you more anxious.

Location. Sit in a location in the exam room where you will be distracted as little as possible.

Be calm. As the papers are distributed, calm yourself by taking some slow deep breaths.

Read carefully. Make sure to carefully read any instructions on the exam.

Focus. As you work on the exam, focus only on the exam, not on what other students are doing or on thinking about past exams or future goals.

Calm Yourself. If you feel very anxious in the exam, take a few minutes to calm yourself. Stretch your arms and legs and then relax them again. Do this a couple of times. Take a few slow deep breaths. Do some positive internal self-talk; say to yourself, “I will be OK. I can do this.” Then direct your focus on the test; associate questions to their corresponding lecture and/or chapter.

Do Your Best.  If the exam is more difficult than you anticipated, try to focus and just do your best. It might be enough to get you through with a reasonable grade!

Treat Yourself.  When the exam is over, treat yourself. If you don’t have any other commitments, maybe you can take the night off. If you have to study for other exams you may have to postpone a larger break, but a brief break may be the “pick up” that you need.