Take the Stress Out of Tests

According to the American Test Anxiety Association, up to 40% of students in a college or high school have high test anxiety, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. Being a student that has had plenty of test anxiety encounters, I have learned, and still am learning, the many tips that you could follow to reduce the anxiety.

Before the test

Give yourself plenty of time

Organize a study schedule several days ahead of time to ensure that you are not cramming nor stressed about finding time the day before the test to cram. If you spend a little time each day preparing, you are more likely to remember the test material.

Get a good night’s sleep

Taking a test with very little sleep can cause you to be more distracted and lethargic during the exam. This will cause you to guess and ultimately receive a lower test score. Be sure to give your brain a reset and give it the blood flow that will help you test your best!

Engage in relaxation exercises

Do relaxation exercises, such as meditation and yoga, to increase the blood flow to your brain.  These activities can help you think more clearly and concisely both during your study sessions and during the exam.

During the test


You’ve got this! If you prepared, studied and did all of your test rituals, then you are ready for the test. If you stress too much during the exam, you are more likely to second guess yourself on each question. Take the test with positive thoughts and tell yourself, “I’ve got this!”

Read the directions carefully

Before answering any questions, read the directions carefully. Look for specifics – what details should be included. For example, if you’re taking a math exam, are you required to show your work? Taking time to read the directions will help you avoid making costly mistakes.

Don’t rush or panic

There is no reward for finishing first. If you see other students handing in their exams, do not worry. Take a deep breath and just focus on each question that you do. Take all the time you need and use extra time to go back and check your answers.

Taking these steps before and during your tests can help reduce stress or anxiety and help you achieve better scores. Here’s to doing your best on the test!

Pearson Students: How do you deal with test anxiety? Share your ideas in the comments below!


Originally from Ohio, Camryn McCrary is a student at San Diego State University, where she is also the Pearson Campus Ambassador. She is a member of Delta Sigma Pi, currently serving as Vice President of Pledge Education. In the future, Camryn plans to attend law school somewhere on the East Coast and pursue a career in the marketing field. In her free time she loves to hike, go to the beach, and jam out to some reggae and hip-hop music.

Camryn is a contributor to the Pearson Students Blog. If you are a college student and interested in writing for us –  click here to pitch your idea and get started!


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