Test Anxiety

An important step to overcoming test anxiety is to build confidence in your academic habits. Develop good study skills, learn to manage your time wisely, and stay organized. But even if you have confidence in your academics, you may still experience test anxiety before, during, and even after an exam. Below are tips on how to stay focused and overcome your test anxiety.

Before the test:

  • Be prepared. Stay on top of the class materials and notes, and make a checklist of what you will need to know for the test.
  • Don't rush. Show up to the test early; running late may fluster you and make it harder to concentrate on the exam.
  • Don't cram.
  • Get a good night's rest before the test.
  • Avoid talking to unprepared students right before the exam, or students with negativity that might shake your confidence and distract your preparation.

During the test:

  • Read all the directions carefully.
  • If you get stuck on a question, skip over it and return to it later.
  • Try to budget your time.
  • If you start tensing up or becoming anxious during the test, try some relaxation techniques—take slow, deep breaths; don't think about fear, think about the next step and keep on task, one step at a time; use positive reinforcement.

After the test:

  • Review how you did.
  • Think about what worked and hold onto these strategies.
  • Think about what you could have done differently and take note for improvement.

Keep an eye out for campus workshops and discussions about test anxiety and related topics. Check out Academic Support for other relevant resources and tutoring sessions.

If you have a history with test anxiety, let your professor know ahead of time. There may be other testing options available for you.

Check out the Overcoming Test Anxiety PDF from the University of Florida.