Overcoming Test Anxiety


A test only measures your performance on a given day.  It tells you how much you know about the questions you were asked.  IT IS NOT a measure of your worth as a person or student.  Once you have established his fact, then you can begin overcoming test anxiety.

Begin by verbalizing your worries and write them down.  Quickly contradict these statements.  You need to feel like you are in control and you can achieve this by self-talk.  Every time you have a negative thought contradict it with a positive thought.  As you practice this technique, you will begin to become a positive thinker.  Use constant reminders such as, “I Can,” “I Will,” “I Want,” to think positively.


  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Inhale and exhale ten times.
  3. Breathe through your nose and fill your lungs.
  4. Hold your breath and slowly count to 5.
  5. Breathe out slowly and easily through your mouth.
  6. Concentrate on breathing and think of nothing else.

Breathe slowly and regularly say “relax” with every exhalation.  See yourself calm, relaxed, alert, clear and confident.  Throughout the test, keep your breathing regular and slow.  


  1. Bend your head and try to rest your right ear as close as you can  to your right shoulder.  Take a deep breath and count to five.  Assume normal position, relax and exhale.
  2. Repeat the same procedure but bend your head to the left shoulder.
  3. Repeat again but this time try to touch your chest with your chin.
  4. Next, make a fist and tense your forearm.  Take a deep breath and count to ten.  Release your fingers and relax and exhale.
  5. Now, do the same with your left arm.

Continue moving from the head to the arms, your trunk and then your legs.  You will begin feeling yourself relax and because you have been focusing on these exercises, you will forget about your anxiety.


  1. Know about the test.  Ask the test examiner what kind of questions to  prepare for:  multiple choice, true/false, or essay?  You’ll feel more in charge if you know what to expect.
  2. Get a sufficient amount of sleep the night before the test.
  3. Avoid caffeine; it can lessen attention span and reduce concentration.   Eat a meal low in fat and high in protein before the test.
  4. Dress in clothes that make you feel confident.
  5. Arrive early for the test.
  6. Have supplies you need for the test.