Ask Erin: How to overcome test anxiety?

Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool while taking your finals


Ask Erin,

Dear Anxious Tester,

As the season of standardized testing approaches, it’s common to feel anxious. However, I have some tips that will hopefully aid you during upcoming tests so that you can stay as cool as a cucumber.

A few essential suggestions are to get a good night’s sleep, eat a nutritious breakfast, and study. Yet, these tips have been repeated over and over and may not prove very effective for some. Bear in mind that when you take a test as an anxious test taker, you need to calm yourself down. One way you can do this is to be comfortable- dress in comfortable clothes, bring a snack or water, and try to feel at ease with your environment. 

When feeling anxious during a test, it’s easy to speed through it. If you feel yourself beginning to read quickly-stop, take a deep breath, and reread. If you are zooming through your test, there’s a good chance that you will miss a vital piece of information. So, the next time you catch yourself going at lightning speed, take a moment and make sure that you actually are comprehending the information.

If you find yourself being anxious during a test, consider why. Are you fearful of the grade you might get? Are you uncomfortable with the silence that accompanies testing in the classroom? Or, are you simply distracted by those around you? Never fear- though may seem cliche, practice relaxing breathing exercises to settle your nerves and your mind. Likewise, when you find out the root cause of why you are anxious during a test, it can help you to find solutions.

Ultimately, Anxious Tester, please keep in mind that your grade on a test does not equal your self-worth.  Remember to take your time, take care of yourself, and also try your best- because in the end, what matters most is that you gave it your all.