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Coping with Test Anxiety

Last updated November 14, 2023

Have you ever been in the middle of taking a test, staring blankly at the paper below you, and felt like you forgot everything you studied? Or maybe you’ve found yourself feeling nauseous, distracted, or hopeless. These feelings could be a symptom of test anxiety.

Test anxiety manifests differently from person to person. Put simply, however, test anxiety is feelings of extreme panic, anxiety, or stress before, during, or after an exam. While it’s normal to feel some level of nervousness during an exam, test anxiety can negatively impact your confidence and academic performance. To help you cope with test anxiety, read our list of strategies below. 

Individual bubbling in an answer on a scantron - Coping with Test Anxiety

Revamp your study habits

Showing up to an exam feeling well prepared can help reduce test anxiety. More importantly, the earlier you prepare can help ease your anxiety in the days leading up to the test. Check out some of our best study and productivity tips to make the most out of your studying:

Get enough sleep the night before

Cramming for an exam is not effective, so we don’t recommend doing it. Staying up late the night before an exam to study will likely only make you feel groggy the next morning, which can distract you from fully focusing. Make sure you give your brain an opportunity to rest and recharge.

Eat and drink water beforehand

Have you ever felt annoyed or irritated for no reason, only to realize it’s because you haven’t eaten all day? Imagine feeling that way while trying to take a test. Having adequate food and water in your system can help you focus more during your exam.

Still need help coping with test anxiety?

  • Practice good self care. Whether you’re in high school or college, read about our self-care tips and activities to try out before your next exam.
  • Ask for help. Your educators want you to succeed! Don’t be afraid to talk to them and ask for help when needed.
  • Seek professional help. Test anxiety can sometimes be a symptom of something bigger, like anxiety, depression, or imposter phenomenon. Talking to a professional about how you feel can give you some insight into why you feel that way, how to spot patterns in your mood, and help you prioritize your mental health.

Have any questions about taking exams in high school or college? Text #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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