How do you reduce test taking anxiety?

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Answered by: Merrily, An Expert in the Test Tips Category
Tips to Reduce Test Taking Anxiety

Have you ever felt test taking anxiety? Although it can manifest itself in many ways here is a list of some of the symptoms of test taking anxiety:

     Sweaty palms or increase sweating in general.

     Fast heart beat.

     Feeling of panic, or feeling that the classroom is closing in on you, especially right before a test.

     Feeling sick to your stomach or that you have butterflies in your stomach.

     Overwhelming feeling that you are going to fail the test even though you studied for the test.

     Feeling out of breath or like you cannot catch your breath.

     Nervousness, general fear, or jitters.


There are some of the most common symptoms of test taking anxiety. If you have felt any of these symptoms, you have felt test taking anxiety. Now as students we all have to take tests. In order to reduce test taking anxiety, here are a few tips:

First of all, almost all students have felt text taking anxiety at sometime in their educational careers. When you start feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself that this is normal, and that you can overcome your anxiety. Remember to think positive and to have positive self talk. Remind yourself that you CAN and Will do well on this test. Be confident and repeat positive affirmations to yourself before the test, such as: “I am a great student and I will do my best on this test.”

Second: breathe, breathe, and breathe deeply. This may seem simple but right before the test when you feel panic or fear, take three deep breaths. If you feel the classroom is closing in on you continue to breathe deeply and count the objects that are in the shape of squares in your classroom. As long as you feel panic, keep breathing deeply and counting objects that are in the shapes of triangles, circles. If you still feel fear or panic count colors (like how many brown objects are in the classroom), until you do not feel panicked or the classroom closing in on you. Deep breathing brings oxygen to your brain and dispenses oxygen throughout your body, calming you down and relaxing you Breathing deeply even helps settle the butterflies in your stomach. Breathing slowly and deeply, also slows your heart rate, helps to curb nervousness, and stop your jitters. In addition, breathing deeply helps stop the feeling of being out of breath or not being able to catch your breath.

Lastly, be prepared. Study for your text. Study the material on your test as much as you can. Studying will make you more confident and help you do well on your test. Bring a washcloth to wipe your sweaty palms or other areas of your body that may be too wet with sweat. Have a good breakfast the day of the test and bring a small snack to eat before the test. Drink plenty of water. This will help your stomach feel better, give your brain, and body fuel. Also, eating and drinking before a test help you to concentrate on your test, and not on being hungry or thirsty.

In conclusion, test taking anxiety can be a problem for all students. Remember that test taking anxiety can be reduced and overcome by: realizing that it is a common occurrence among students, being positive, deep breathing, focusing your mind, and being prepared. The next time you have to take a test, try these tips for yourself, and reduce your text taking anxiety.

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