Test anxiety is well-known in the college community and can affect students tremendously. Symptoms of test anxiety include nausea, excessive sweating, and headaches. Anxiety may lower a student’s self-esteem, confidence, and motivation. We strive to do our best academically, and testing anxiety can hinder effective test performance and studying.
Managing anxiety before an exam
There are more straightforward ways to reduce test anxiety than you may think. Here are some strategies:
- Ensuring you get 8 hours of sleep and eating before an exam are vital to reducing anxiety. A well-rested body will put you in a positive mindset.
- Stay organized and give yourself small blocks of time for studying to increase your knowledge and goals for learning. Map out time blocks for exam day, try to arrive at your test 15 minutes early, and remember to breathe.
- Positive affirmations are another helpful tip to reduce test anxiety: remind yourself that you are capable and “you can do this.”
Managing anxiety during an exam
During your exam, take the time to read slowly and understand the questions being asked. After reading the instructions, immediately begin your work. If you run into a question that stumps you, mark it for review and move on to the next. A significant factor in successful test taking is keeping track of your time, so prepare yourself by reviewing the entire exam which will help you determine how long you think each question will take you to complete.
Lean on your support teams
eCampus has testing assistants that are on your side and want to ensure you have a great testing experience! They support students by providing a quiet space to take their proctored exams. Feel free to reach out to any of them with questions or concerns.
UAF Disability Services is an excellent resource. They empower and advocate for students who experience disabilities, and supporting students through an accommodated process, ensuring all students have a chance to succeed
To work in a positive headspace, having a comfortable environment plays a key role. UAF has quiet study areas in the Rasmuson Library, collaborative areas like The Nook, and even a meditation room called The Well. All these spaces encourage students to have privacy and a clear mind when studying.
The Princeton Review. (2019). 10 Ways to Overcome Test Anxiety. Princetonreview.com. https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/test-anxiety
University of Alaska Fairbanks Disability Services. (n.d.). A parent’s guide to UAF Disability Services. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from https://www.uaf.edu/disabilityservices/parents.php