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Reducing Your Test Anxiety Is As Easy As 1-2-3!

As you knows, tests can create crippling anxiety in students–and anxious kids can perform below their true abilities. Here’s a sneak peek of some things you’ll learn at the U of I CCP’s workshop “Don’t Stress! Ace the Test! Dealing with Test Anxiety” this Tuesday, December 6th at 7pm!

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1. Test Anxiety is common and can be overcome

Test anxiety is a complex reaction resulting from both physical and mental elements. Like most human behaviors, you learned it.

2. Recognizing something doesn’t mean you actually know it.

Avoid “cramming” - Never “group cram” right before a test. The cramming has left a lingering glow of activity in our sensory and memory systems, a glow that allows our brain to swiftly tag our study notes as "something that I've seen before". But being able to recognize something isn't the same as being able to recall it.

3. Positive thinking can only help you!

You need to believe you will succeed. In order to believe this, you will need to change your way of thinking. This can be accomplished with positive self-talk.

4. Confronting your anxiety will help more than trying to push it aside.

It’s important to recognize and accept, not deny and suppress, whatever difficult emotion or depressed state we’re encountering when dealing with past experience related to test anxiety.

5. Prepare! Prepare! Prepare!

If you haven’t studied enough, you probably will be nervous. So just keep in mind that if “I have prepared well, I can pass this test.”

6. Budgeting your time effectively will help you feel less stressed.

Stop, pause and relax. Plan to use the entire time. Skip questions you aren’t sure of. Don’t get your emotions get out of control.

7. Work some self-soothing techniques into your time budgeting.

Take a deep breath and count from 1 to 6. When anxiety surfaces, don’t panic. Practice your deep breathing or other techniques that work for you.

8. Answer everything you’re sure of first.

Do easy questions first: They may give you clues for the more challenging questions.

9. Plan accordingly.

Budget your time. Arrive early for the test. This will allow you plenty of extra time to allow for delays in your commute (e.g., slow traffic, bad weather, car trouble, etc.) or, at a minimum, cause unnecessary stress that could have a negative impact on your performance.

10. SLEEP!!!

Try to get a really good night’s rest at least 2 nights before your exam. Sleep is an active process where the brain works to heal the body by producing hormones beneficial for repair and growth. This is also the time for the brain to consolidate memories of what we studied and learned that day. If students develop a consistent routine for studying and sleep, it will likely mean higher grades and more time for other school activities.

Don't get discouraged!

Remember that overcoming test anxiety takes time and practice. Reward yourself for even small victories, and keep practicing!

To get more tips and strategies on how to manage your test anxiety effectively, join our fun and interactive workshop on December 6th at 7 pm to Illini Union Room 406. We can't wait to see y'all there!!!

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