Test Anxiety = Bad Scores
Here's how to relieve test anxiety and improve your academic performance:
You may already be aware test anxiety can have a devastating effect on test scores. When people are stressed out or anxious their normal mental function changes... in a way it sort of "shuts down" to allow only the essential processes. Meaning the rational power and memory recall we normally have are diminished to the point where they can result in failing grades. Ouch!
The good news is you're not alone, AND it's easy to get better. Here's how:
Create a resource: This is something you can use to counteract the possible discomfort you might feel when you're taking a test. Start by remembering a time or situation that you really loved, enjoyed, etc. Maybe a moment in time when you felt invincible… you’ve had those… and then choose an action such as squeezing your fist, and while you think about that great time, squeeze your fist (or whatever you choose) and do that a few times.
With a few repetitions you’ll be able to create a conditioned response that gives you those feelings when you squeeze your fist, in the same way on the day of your test. Obviously it’s important that you always match the single action to the same desired response.
Rehearse success: Your mind is amazingly powerful and the right type of focus is going to give you the best results. Think about what happens when you allow yourself to worry about something… it’s paralyzing, isn’t it? But have you ever worried about something and when it came time it never became an issue after all? It’s nice when that happens but it doesn’t change the suffering you put yourself through while worrying.
When thinking about your upcoming test imagine yourself going through the whole process of taking your test successfully and feeling relaxed the entire time. Rehearse success instead of failure and on the day of your exam test anxiety won’t be an issue because the feeling of success is now more familiar.
Control your environment: In my experience and that of my clients, the exam room is generally quiet and sort of clinical. Now let me ask you a question… how is the environment where you study for your exam? Whether you’re in your room, at the library or even in the same room the test will take place, do your best to match the outside environment so it gives you a similar feeling as the exam room.
Studying in a similar environment as that of the exam you should find your mind has an easier time recalling information. It only makes sense that there are less changes for your mind to accommodate so it's better able to focus on the knowledge you’ve crammed in there!
Take care of your mind and body: Your mind and body need nurturing and care. If you take good care of them by sleeping and eating well, they will take care of you and allow you to perform your best on the day of your test.
Fatigue can be physical and/or mental and on the day of your exam it can cause test anxiety. When you’re fatigued you already don’t perform your best… add to that the anxiety of taking a test and you have yourself a failing grade.
All this is great but…
Sometimes keeping your attention focused and motivating yourself to study and improve your memory recall can be challenging. That’s where I come in.
I can help you set yourself up for test taking success by creating a strong resource with you and teaching you how to get into your best study “zone” automatically. Sessions are available by phone, Skype, or in person if we happen to be in Lake Tahoe or San Diego at the same time. Of course phone or Skype make distance a non-factor and work like a charm.