It’s normal for a student to experience some test anxiety, especially for a college entrance examination.
In some situations, a little bit of anxiety can sharpen one’s focus and help them rise to the occasion. Unfortunately, there are other instances where fear can be outright debilitating and make it impossible to focus.
The good news is there are steps you can take to calm your mind before your SAT or ACT exam, and this will ultimately boost your score.
What is text anxiety and why does it occur? Let’s explore.
Understanding Test Anxiety
It’s normal to be at least somewhat nervous before a test.
But the symptoms of anxiety can be far-reaching, extending into physical, emotional, behavioral, and even cognitive symptoms.
In a stressed-out state, you’ll find it harder to focus, and you might even feel agitated, frustrated, or irritated at the slightest sign of difficulty.
Test anxiety often stems from one of the following factors:
• Fear of failure.
• Lack of preparation.
• Poor history of testing experiences.
• According to PrepScholar, test anxiety can also be linked to genetic dispositions. In some extreme situations, it may need to be treated.
Test anxiety, however, is not impossible to reduce and even overcome. It’s all about being proactive.
How To Calm Your Mind Before The Exam
There are several steps you can take to reduce test anxiety. This isn’t to suggest these steps will eliminate it but being prepared can make a significant difference.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure you’re in the best condition possible for your exam.
Rest & Sleep
Students sometimes end up cramming at the last minute, sacrificing sleep and not getting enough rest in the process.
Losing a couple of hours of sleep may not seem like a big deal. But compounded over time, the effects will be noticeable.
Get plenty of rest before an exam to perform at your very best.
Meditation has a calming effect and has been linked to many health benefits.
According to Live and Dare, the scientific benefits of meditation include (but aren’t limited to):
• Immunity – 50% less disease.
• Less depression.
• Less anxiety.
• More well-being.
Meditating for just 10 to 15 minutes per day can make a significant difference in preparation for an exam.
Eat Healthy & Exercise
Food is supposed to give you energy. Unfortunately, the wrong kinds of foods can make you feel tired, bloated, and even irritate your bowels.
Eat well, and exercise regularly before the exam. A 20 to 30-minute walk is good for your health and can be energizing. Choose an activity that’s right for you.
One of the reasons students end up feeling frazzled at the last minute is due to a lack of organization.
Stay organized by:
• Following a defined study plan.
• Clearing away clutter.
• Being aware of when and where you’ll be taking the test.
• Visiting the test site beforehand.
Not feeling prepared for a test is not a great feeling.
Before the exam, it’s altogether too easy to lose track of time, not utilize and budget your time well, or not know what to study.
Hiring a tutor can make a big difference in this process. They can help you come up with a strategic study plan and track your progress. They will help you manage your time and be in the best mind space for the test.
Don’t forget – you may feel some pressure before the exam, regardless of how well prepared you are. So long as you can focus on the material and put your best effort forward, that’s all anyone can expect of you.
Take proactive steps towards calming your mind before the exam. You will score much higher on the test if you’re able to stay calm and not let your anxiety get the best of you.