Wanting to overcome test anxiety is quite common among students in a school setting. Often, students are so worried about how their test scores are going to turn out that they experience anxiety, some levels more severe than others. There are ways to prepare for a test that will decrease the level of anxiety and a student will be able to focus on the test without worrying about their performance. Some general preparation guidelines on how to overcome test anxiety in nursing school include:
- Develop study habits and strategies that are efficient.
- Manage your time wisely, don’t procrastinate your studies.
- Organize your study materials to better review them.
- Create a step-by-step approach, look at all aspects, to better help you prepare for each test.
- Look at your last test- what needs to be improved upon? What could you have done better? Review aspects of your last test.
Here are more preparation guidelines to help reduce your stress levels:
- Looking at the test with a more confident appearance will help immensely. Take the test in stride- view it as an opportunity to show how much you studied and reward yourself after the test is done.
- Prepare yourself! Thoroughly examine and organize all materials before your test, use a checklist if necessary.
- Comfort while taking the test will ease your stress- pick a location with good lighting and little to no distractions.
- Do not cram information in right before the test- this will increase anxiety. Review all information well before the test.
- Enter the testing area early. Allowing yourself more time to relax before the test will help you to examine your surroundings, and help you pick a place with better lighting and fewer distractions.
- Separate yourself from other students who may not be as well prepared. Negative thoughts and expressions will make you question your preparation.
- Exercise. This will bring blood to the brain and will help your thinking function.
- A good night’s sleep will help you feel rested for the test.
- Eat healthy foods, feed your brain with fruits and vegetables. Stay away from processed foods, for they can disrupt the brain function.
- Take a snack or other form of nourishment to take your mind off your anxiety. Again, stay away from processed foods such as candy, that containing high grams of sugar.
During your test, make sure you:
- Read the instructions- don’t skim through them, actually read them.
- Check how long you have to take your test, then estimate how much time you can spend on each question.
- Change your body position to help you relax and focus.
- If you are stuck on a question and cannot figure out what the answer is, skip it and go on to the next one. If the test you are taking is an essay test, pick one question and begin writing. The answer may come to mind.
- Don’t get flustered if another student finishes before you do. It is not a race; take as much time as is available for your test.
When you have completed the test, review how you did
- Make a list on what worked, it doesn’t matter how small they may seem, they are helping lead you to success.
- Make a list on what needs improvement.
- Review all your strategies.
- Celebrate that you are one step closer to overcoming this hurdle in your testing career!
If you suffer with test anxiety, make sure to express these concerns to your instructor far in advance. They may be able to go over the material with you to help you feel more comforted in your studies.
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