Motivational Minute: Tackling Test Anxiety

the exam

Tests have a way of working people up into a serious frenzy. The stakes are much higher around exam time and the pressure becomes almost palpable without the right preparation. There are a number of strategies to help you prepare yourself mentally and physically for an upcoming exam and lower the anxiety around test-taking. Here are some quick tips that may be useful for you in the future:

Create a simulated testing experience for studying. Try to create a studying environment that is as close to the actual testing environment as possible to get used to what taking the exam will really be like on exam day. How can you do this? Try these simple strategies:

If taking the exam in a testing center…

Visit the center ahead of time to observe the atmosphere. Is there a lot of people, will you be sitting next to someone, is it cold in the room, etc.? Making note of these things will help you recreate the setting at home when studying.

Try doing practice tests with a timer in front of you to make it easier to perform with a timer when you take the exam. Exams in the testing center are often timed and the timer appears as a countdown on the computer screen during the exam.

If taking the exam through ProctorU

Do all studying in the spot where you will be taking the test on exam day. This can help your memory because the environment will serve as a cue to help you recall information.

Create practice tests. Look at the textbook publisher’s website to create practice tests. You can also check out these apps to help tailor your study materials to serve you best:

Flashcards+: This app gives you access to millions of pre-made Flashcard sets for studying.

Quizlet: Excel during your study time creating practice tests and quizzes, flashcards or take advantage of  pre-made flashcards.

Practice a relaxation technique before the exam. Check out Omvana for quick meditation exercises, listen to your favorite song and dance to it to release any physical discomfort, deep breathing, etc.

It’s very important to know your syllabus and understand the exam policies for your course. Be sure to prepare ahead of time to ensure that the exam is completed by the due date. If taking an exam off-campus, be sure to secure a proctor in advance. Take some time to review NOVA Online Testing Information for more details. If you need more resources, i.e. tutoring services, more tips to combat test anxiety, etc. please reach out to NOVA Online Success Coaches at 703-764-5076 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. Namaste!

–Jennifer, NOVA Online Success Coach

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