You know how important this test is, not just for your grade in this class but for your future as a whole. You know how important it is for you to pass—preferably with flying colours—to set you up with the future you want and need. You know all that, which is part of the reason why it’s so hard for you to achieve that goal in the first place. The stress of test taking can be not just overwhelming but, indeed, often more difficult than the test itself.
With that said, difficulty with exams isn’t the end of the road when it comes to education. Having trouble with an exam could be just that—difficulty with test taking. Here, then, are a few strategies to help you battle test-related anxiety when preparing for your exams.
Write it Out
It’s safe to say that for many of us today we type a lot more than we write by hand. That being said, doing it “the old-fashioned way” and writing out your notes by hand while studying may help you retain information better as well as battle stress more effectively. Not only can your brain form a connection between the act of writing and the information involved, but the act itself can be therapeutic for some people, thus helping to alleviate stress.
Relaxation and Meditation
One thing which can cause the most stress when it comes to exam preparation is one’s feeling too “scattered” by the material at hand. You know that you understand the material, but trying to memorise all of it seems like such a monumental task that you feel overwhelmed and thus underperform. It’s here that relaxation and meditation techniques can help. Different techniques will naturally work better for different people, but the general principle is the same—whether by drinking lots of water, performing breathing exercises or yoga poses, or any other methods, find a practicable and repeatable means of soothing your nerves, and employ it whenever you start feeling scattered and overwhelmed.
While these methods can increase your ability to focus, you must not mistake increased focus for stressfully obsessing over every last detail. What’s more, you should not confuse being focused with not taking breaks. There is only so much new information your brain can process at a time, and so not taking breaks can actually impair your ability to focus and increase that horrible overwhelming feeling of anxiety which leads to your poorer exam scores.
Get a Private Tutor
Whether you want to become a private tutor yourself someday or just need a little bit of extra help for the exam, getting a tutor can help you both learn the material better and stay calmer throughout the process. The added human companionship and compassion which a trained tutor brings to the table can help set your mind at ease, and thus make you more receptive to not just learning new things, but also retaining what you’ve learned and being able to employ that knowledge in the pressure of an exam without feeling anxious.
Take a deep breath and take the plunge with these test-taking strategies and the help of a private tutor today.