How to Reduce Exam Anxiety
Exam Anxiety Tip 1
Be Prepared Early
The most common cause of exam anxiety is lack of preparation for the exam. Set up a study schedule at least three weeks before your first exam. You may find that you actually need to start studying very early due to other commitments. Planning ahead also assists you to avoid cramming which can be a major cause of exam anxiety.
Exam Anxiety Tip 2
Regular sleep is one of the best ways to control stress. Getting up and going to bed each day at the same times ensures that your body and brain are getting the rest they need for optimal functioning. Students who follow a regular sleeping pattern have been shown to perform 30% better than students who stay up late or get up early to study.
Exam Anxiety Tip 3
Same Caffeine & Sugar Intake
Keep caffeine and sugar intake the same during exam time. Don’t increase or decrease the amount of coffee, tea or cola that you normally drink as your body and brain are accustomed to getting a certain amount. Keep things in your life as stable as possible, especially during exam time.
Exam Anxiety Tip 4
Learned Relaxed Breathing
When you display any symptoms of anxiety during studying or during the exam, use relaxed breathing to calm yourself. Take your attention away from the task and take a few slow breaths. Say to yourself, “calm and relaxed” as you exhale. Practice relaxed breathing before the exam.
Exam Anxiety Tip 5
Don’t Study the Night Before
Studying the night before an exam causes your anxiety level to increase. Unfortunately, it doesn’t decrease when you go to sleep. Reduce anxiety by taking the evening off to relax – watch TV, see a movie, read a novel, etc.
Exam Anxiety Tip 6
Review Main Themes
If it causes you anxiety NOT to study the night before an exam, review the main themes of the course earlier in the day. Of course, that implies that you should have already studied well.
Exam Anxiety Tip 7
Have a Plan before the Exam
As part of your studying, think about how you will approach the exam, and what you will do when you run into trouble. Having a plan in place will assist you to worry less about failing, and help you to concentrate more on passing.
Exam Anxiety Tip 8
Aim to Do Your Best
Often, students start thinking negatively when things aren’t going well on an exam. This can lead to lower self-confidence and increased self-doubt. Recognize and turn off your negative internal dialogue. Focus on the task instead of on yourself. Do not try for perfection – aim to do your very best.