How to Overcome Test Anxiety

If you or your child suffers from test anxiety, getting through school may feel impossible. Anywhere from 10% to 40% of students experience some form of test anxiety, according to a compilation of studies. Whether you’re dealing with moderate or severe testing anxiety, you can take control of your symptoms. Read on to learn how to overcome test anxiety.

Get Tested for Learning Disabilities and Other Underlying Factors

Anxiety in school or in exams may be the result of an undiagnosed learning disability. What you assume to be an insufficiency may actually be a treatable condition. Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, auditory processing disorder, and other learning disabilities can stifle academic performance and increase frustrations in school. The same can be said about ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, general anxiety, and more.

A psychological or neuropsychological evaluation could pinpoint these underlying factors and give you the tools to conquer them. You may not be able to ‘cure’ the condition, but you can learn how to work around it. CNLD Testing & Therapy offers comprehensive psychological exams for learning disorders, anxiety, depression, ADHD, and much more.

Identify Your Test Anxiety Triggers

What about the testing experience makes you anxious? Is it the crowd of students in the room? Is it the pressure of making good grades? Do you get nervous when you feel timed to complete a task? Figure out what’s going on at the root so you can address it head-on.

Find Personalized Solutions for Test Anxiety Triggers

Once you understand what’s causing the test anxiety, you can find ways to manage it. For instance, if you have issues with timed testing, you may qualify for an extended timeframe. This is especially true if you pursue an IEP or 504 Plan with the school. There are accommodations for nearly every test anxiety symptom, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

CNLD Testing & Therapy offers educational advocacy services with our neuropsychological evaluations. Following the diagnosis, you can work with our educational advocate to determine what resources are available to you. We’ll guide you through the process so you or your child can get the support you need in school.

Learn Study Skills and Proven Test-Taking Strategies

If you have the right study skills, you can feel more prepared before taking an exam. Here are some simple strategies to follow:

  • Study small sets of information with breaks in between. Your brain can only absorb so much at one time. Cram too much, and you may forget it all.
  • Study for the test well in advance. Don’t wait until the day before to learn the information.
  • Take naps during your study sessions. This gives your brain a chance to process the information you just read, and it increases your chance of remembering it in the future.
  • Keep a backup set of school supplies. Put this in something that you always have on hand, such as a backpack or purse. If you get to the test and realize you’ve forgotten your pencil, scantron, calculator, etc., you have a backup ready to go.
  • Ask the teacher for help if you’re struggling to understand the material. Most teachers and professors have free periods or office hours that allow students to get supplemental help. You could also explore tutoring options in your area or seek help from your peers.
  • Skip what you don’t know and come back to it later. If you come across a question that has you baffled, move on to the next one. This ensures you complete as much of the test as possible. If you have free time in the end, go back to the skipped questions and evaluate them further.
  • Create a calm pre-test routine. Get a good night of sleep, eat a fulfilling meal and drink water about an hour before your exam. This will nourish your mind and body to prepare you for a successful test experience. Check out these tips to establish a healthy sleep routine.