Test anxiety is a form of performance anxiety in which fear of failure interferes with your ability to perform well in a test situation. Everyone gets nervous before a test. You might experience physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and light-headedness if you have test anxiety. You might even have a panic attack, during which you feel like you’re having a heart attack.
Other symptoms of test anxiety include anger, fear, and helplessness, as well as thinking negatively and comparing yourself to others. Coping strategies can help you if you have test anxiety, especially for the BOC exam. Here are 10 tips to help you cope.
- Prepare Well
Preparing for a test can help ease your mind and get rid of the anxiety you might feel on test day. You’ll only get more anxious if you cram for a test. The final step is to learn as much as you can about the test or exam in advance. You can avoid last-minute surprises by knowing the types of questions.
- Watch Self-Talk
If your performance suffers because of test anxiety, you may fall into a downward spiral of negative thinking. Monitor your thoughts and replace any negative ones with positive ones. Think about how rational your thoughts are and if you could say something better.
Don’t Tell Yourself…
- “I should have studied more.”
- “I must be stupid.”
- “I have to do well, everything is on the line.”
Do Tell Yourself…
- “I am prepared for this test.”
- “Even if I don’t do well, it’s not the end of the world.”
- “I am smart enough to do well.”
- Visualize Success
Elite athletes visualize themselves winning. You can do the same for test anxiety.
While you’re studying, imagine yourself feeling confident and clearheaded. Seeing yourself doing well on the test can help you do it.
- Use Relaxation Strategies
Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), and guided imagery are good relaxation strategies. You can use these strategies in the weeks leading up to a test, and during the test.
- Stay Healthy
You might neglect your health when you have multiple tests and exams. Good nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep are all important components of a stress-free lifestyle. Make sure you eat a good breakfast and don’t drink too much caffeine on test day.
- Arrive Early
There’s nothing worse than rushing to get to a test. Make sure you’re there at least 10 minutes early. If you’re nervous about waiting for the test to begin, bring a magazine or something mindless to keep your mind occupied. Try not to be on social media or checking news sites just prior to the test in case you see something negative. Don’t interact with anxious people before the test.
- Focus During the Test
Do everything you can to stay focused. Stop and regroup if you’re feeling anxious. Take a deep breath. Take your time, but check the timer to make sure you’re pacing yourself. Before starting the test, do a quick review and read the directions twice. Start with the easiest questions first – you can skip around on the BOC exam!
- Accept a Little Anxiety
Recognize that a little bit of anxiety before a test is okay. If you didn’t feel nervous, you might not be motivated to do well. Anxiety is only a problem when it’s unmanageable.
- Expect Setbacks
Remind yourself that there will always be roadblocks along the way, even if you have a bad experience. Don’t let one bad test result keep you from improving next time.
- Reward Yourself
After the test, plan a reward for yourself.
Spend some time relaxing and clearing your mind. Don’t dwell on the mistakes you may have made or how you performed. Give yourself a break before studying again for any remaining classes.