Working Through Test Anxiety

By Levi Lowe |

Testing anxiety is a problem that many students in college go through every time they take a test. This can easily lead a student to getting scores that are a lot lower than what they really should be getting. Below are tips to hopefully assist those with testing anxiety to try and get those test scores to a better-looking stance.

Let’s start off with identifying the source of the anxiety. In many cases students are internalizing anxiety from an outside source and making it their own. Sometimes parental anxiety can manifest as student anxiety. In cases such as these, it can be helpful for parents to remove some of their attention from the testing process and outcomes by hovering less and giving the student more space. Taking external pressure off of the student can help decrease the student’s anxiety.

Now try writing about your test anxiety. Researchers have found that taking 10 minutes to write expressively about your anxiety and how it affects you can help reduce test anxiety and boost performance on tests.

Do your best to externalize the Anxiety Monster. If your critical/anxious voice is running wild on the inside, it may help to personify the negativity and give it a form, give it a name. “Oh, Worry Beast, there you are again. I knew you were going to show up here!” “Murray, you worry wart, of course you want to get into the action and show up during my ACT. But you need to leave for a while. We can talk later.” By naming the monster, you can help tame the monster. Creating some cognitive distance from the anxious thoughts allows you to achieve a measure of control over them.

Now use the body to help ground your anxiety. Exercise is a natural anxiety reliever. Research shows that as little as 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week can provide significant anxiety relief. Exercise is protective in that it boosts endorphins and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which may reduce symptoms of depression and elevate mood; it also suppresses the release of the stress hormone cortisol.

One technique that has worked for some students is called tapping or the Emotional Freedom Technique. This is a super simple process, involving tapping a series of points on your body in a particular sequence: 1. Eyebrow, 2. Side of eye, 3. Under eye, 4. Under nose, 5. Chin, 6. Collarbone, 7. Under arm, 8. Top of head. Tapping somehow has an effect in anxiety reduction and has been shown to help people with PTSD and anxiety disorders. It’s simple and free; it takes a few seconds and may be helpful.  

Finally, try going to the counseling center. There are people there that are always willing to help and they will teach these and so many more techniques that can be used to hopefully help combat your testing anxiety. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet