Test taking can be stressful—especially when you feel like your future career success is on the line. Use the following tips to manage your stress, take control, and be at your best on test day! Before the Test:
- Get prepared. Knowing what to expect on test day and being prepared for it is a great way to get control. Get familiar with the test format and instructions, have your test materials ready in advance, and know the best route for getting to the test center.
- Stay positive. A positive attitude will help relieve test anxiety. Try repeating some self-confidence messages to yourself whenever negativity or doubt creeps into the picture. “I can pass this test.” “I will be prepared.” “I can do anything I focus on and work hard for”.
- Visualize success. Imagine yourself getting a great score on your exam and moving closer toward achieving your career goals. Visualizing success can help make it happen!
- Exercise. Physical activity can help calm your body and focus your mind.
- Diet. Junk food, caffeine, and alcohol are test-taking enemies. What your body needs for peak performance is a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with lean protein and carbohydrates for energy.
During the Test:
- Rest. You probably know how much sleep you need every night to be at your best. Make sure you get that much sleep for at least a week before the exam.
- Breathe. Take a few slow, deep breaths if you start feeling stressed during the exam. You may be surprised by how much this can help you calm down and get back in control.
- Move your body. Try rolling your head in a circle, rotating your shoulders, and shaking your hands from the wrist. Many people find these movements very relaxing—just be discreet about it.
- Find an easy question. If you start feeling overwhelmed by tough questions, skim over the test until you find an easy one and answer it. Just one correct answer can help you regain your confidence and get into the test-taking groove.
- Take a break. Everyone loses concentration once in a while during a long test. It’s normal, and you shouldn’t worry about it. Accept it, close your eyes and relax for a few seconds, and you’ll be ready to get back to work in no time!