Test Anxiety

What is it?

  • It is when you are so nervous about preparing or taking a test that you have difficulty planning, thinking, concentrating, recalling what you have studied, and relaxing.
  • It is common, understandable, and curable.

Is test anxiety all bad?

  • No. We need a little anxiety to get us going. If we had no feelings of anxiety, we wouldn't care and we wouldn't get anything done.
  • However, it is not good when we have so much anxiety that we set ourselves up for failure. Fear can be our enemy.

What can you do about it?

  1. Prepare.
  2. Take care of yourself.
  3. Relax.


  • Plan your study strategy.
  • Organize your time and stick closely to it. When you are to study, study.
  • Allow time for recreation and study breaks. When you schedule yourself to have fun and relax, enjoy.
  • Make your study setting conducive to studying, free from distractions.


  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat nutritious meals - 3 a day.
  • Allow enough time. Get to the exam early.
  • Avoid frightened students. Anxiety is contagious.


  • First, ask yourself: "What is the worst that can happen? Can I deal with that?"
  • Learn this relaxation technique: Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose and feel your stomach (not your chest) extend. Hold for a few seconds. Pull in your stomach, forcing the air out and think "relax". Repeat 2 or 3 times. Practice this procedure.
  • While studying, upon arriving at the exam, and while taking an exam if you feel the need, concentrate on your breathing using the above technique to relax.