Thursday, October 2, 2008

Test Anxiety

Nov. National Addiction Awareness

Celebrate the joy of an addictions-free life and increase your awareness of the struggles of others who have an addiction.

Relaxation Tip

Place one hand on your belly. Breathe slowly and deeply. Feel your hand rise and fall. Let your shoulders drop and feel your body relax and renew. Relaxation has a cumulative effect. If you include a brief period of relaxation into your daily schedule, your body’s ability to relax will increase.

Test and assignment anxiety?

You are not alone. Most students feel some level of anxiety before presentations, tests and exams. It is only when the level of anxiety you experience actually affects your marks that it becomes a problem. Reach out for support early.


1.Your Student Success Mentors can help you with study skills and time management.

2.Peer tutoring is available for students.

3.Our Mind and Wellness Nurse teaches relaxation techniques every Tues and Thurs from 1-1:30 in the Student Success Hub

4.We have counselors you can talk with if your anxiety is overwhelming you.

You can book an appointment for any of these services through Jodie at the Student Success Hub.

If you are aware that you have a problem with test anxiety, let your teacher know in plenty of time (days) before any testing begins. There may be other options to evaluate your knowledge or performance within the subject matter. If you have a specific disability (learning disability, mental illness, etc) you can use a quiet test area if you arrange this with your instructors beforehand.

Test preparation to reduce anxiety:

•Approach the exam with confident attitude.
•Use whatever strategies you can to personalize success: visualization, logic, talking to yourself, practice, team work, journaling, etc.
•Be prepared! Learn your material thoroughly and organize what materials you will need for the test. Use a checklist if you need to.
•Choose a comfortable location for taking the test with good lighting and minimal distractions
•Allow yourself plenty of time, especially to do things you need to do before the test and still get there a little early
•Do not cram. The time before a test is better spent doing a relaxation exercise which will increase oxygen flow to your brain so it will function at its best
•Strive for a relaxed state of concentration
•Avoid speaking with any students who have not prepared and express anxiety – it really is contagious so surround yourself with the more confident, relaxed students
•A program of exercise will keep your mind sharp
•Get a good night's sleep the night before the exam
•Don't go to the exam with an empty stomach. Fresh fruits and vegetables reduce stress. Stressful foods can include processed foods, artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, eggs, fried foods, junk foods, pork, red meat, sugar, white flour products, chips and similar snack foods, foods containing preservatives or heavy spices
•Take a small snack, or some other nourishment to help take your mind off of your anxiety. Avoid high sugar content (candy) which may aggravate your condition

During the test:
•Read the directions carefully
•Change positions to help you relax
•If you go blank, take a relaxing breath, skip the question and go on
•If you're taking an essay test and you go blank on the whole test, take a slow, deep breath, pick a question and start writing anything. You have just given your brain some fresh oxygen and just the act of starting to write may trigger your newly energized brain to feed you the information you need
•Don't panic when students start handing in their papers. There's no reward for being the first done.
•Take slow, deep breaths throughout the test
•Don't think about the fear
•Pause: think about the next step and keep on task, step by step
•Use positive reinforcement for yourself: Acknowledge that you have done, and are doing, your best
•Expect some anxiety. The adrenaline can actually provide energy. Just keep it manageable

About test anxiety from a counselor at an American university –

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