How to Overcome Test Anxiety

Most students experience some sort of anxiety before a test. It is a normal psychological and biological response to the unknown and stress. However, if left unmanaged, it can hurt your performance. Anxiety can impede your ability to focus on the task at hand. Sometimes it also comes with other symptoms like nausea, headache, and fast heart rate, which can affect your ability to do well during the test and get good results.

Test anxiety can be overwhelming and is a significant obstacle to good grades. But because tests are part of college life, students should learn how to cope with stress during the exams. Here is what you can do. 

Plan Ahead

When you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. You are more likely to feel stressed about an upcoming exam if you have not prepared adequately. The remedy, in this case, would be planning. When dates for a quiz, assessment, or final exam are announced, write them down and establish how many days are left until then.

This way, you can plan ahead and begin studying for the exams in advance. For instance, if you have many assignments and an important upcoming assessment test, you can write me an essay by DoMyEssay team to help you with the homework to free up time for studying.

A study plan also accelerates exam preparation, significantly reducing stress and anxiety. You will feel confident about an upcoming exam when you are preparing for it. Preparation also includes identifying the exam location and planning logistics in case you live off-campus.

The more organized and prepared you are, the more confident and less stressed you will be. Try to cover as much as possible during preparation to reduce your doubts about the knowledge of your coursework. 

Get Enough Sleep

It is easy to get tempted to burn the midnight oil studying when you have exams. However, lack of sleep can significantly increase your anxiety. The longer you go without adequate sleep, the more stressed you will feel.

When you sleep better, you feel great. When your brain is sleep-deprived, it is unable to control anxiety. That’s why it is best to get enough sleep days before and during exams. It would help to create a good bedtime and wake-up schedule and stick to it. 

Getting adequate sleep is also beneficial for memory retention. It helps with the consolidation of information you have consumed during your studies. That is why people are advised to have enough sleep before doing or presenting major projects. Better sleep means better memory retention and performance during exams. 

Stay Positive

Instead of foreseeing a catastrophe and poor results, visualize success. Counteract your habitual negative thoughts with positive ones, and you will be more relaxed. Even the information you consume is not retained as well when you are negative.

Our mind is a powerful place. The last thing you should do when you are anxious is to cloud it with intrusive thoughts. If you focus too much on the possibility of a catastrophe, you will miss an opportunity to study.

Start thinking about how well you will perform in the tests. You will be more motivated to study, be more encouraged, and be less stressed. This can also increase your chances of success. Make the negative thoughts disappear and focus on the more important things. 

Take One Step at a Time

Students become anxious when overwhelmed. You may get frustrated if you have multiple slides and many notes to study and you feel you have limited time. Working on one thing at a time will make you feel more relaxed and ready to learn. 

Break down your notes in chunks, and start with the content you know. If you start with content that is easier to understand, you will be encouraged to study further. Before the test day, you will have gone through most of your learning resources. 

Apply the same approach when tackling the test. Start with what you know to save time, and give you enough time to work on the more complex questions. Doing this will make you feel less overwhelmed. If the test includes multiple-choice questions, you could start with them. Short answer questions are also often easier to handle.

When working on an essay test, start with an outline. It will help organize your thoughts and make the flow easy. 

Try to Avoid Caffeine

You might think you need a cup of coffee to keep you up studying for a test. However, coffee and caffeinated drinks interfere with sleep and increase your anxiety. When you feel anxious about a test, avoid caffeine, as it will only increase anxiety. 

It can boost your energy but also affect your sleep and make you feel fatigued on the test day. If you have to drink coffee, do so about six hours before bedtime.


Managing your anxiety can help you perform better in upcoming exams. Once you can employ the test anxiety tips above, you will enjoy your studies more and give yourself enough time to prepare.

Get enough sleep, prepare for the tests, stay positive, and avoid caffeine.

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