Thursday, March 24, 2011

Test Anxiety

Do you suffer from test anxiety?

Do you walk into a test with a dry mouth, sweating, and/ or with a stomach ache? These could be signs that you suffer from text anxiety. Other physical signs of test anxiety include an accelerated heart beat and tense muscles. Other signs of text anxiety are: racing thoughts or difficulty focusing. People who worry a lot or who are perfectionists are more likely to have trouble with test anxiety. This online assessment, created by Alaska Pacific University, can help you see if you suffer from test anxiety.

If you “carry the weight of a test on your shoulders”, there are a few things you can do to mentally and physically reduce some of the tension. As they (whoever “they” is…) say, the mind is a powerful thing! To transform your body, start in your brain. Practicing tension-release exercises can help you alleviate stress pains caused by anxiety throughout your body. To help relax both your mind and your muscles, try closing your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths while mentally picturing a peaceful setting. Next, work to relax your body by concentrating on specific muscle groups. By focusing your attention on a particular group of muscles – such as your shoulders – you can do exercises to relieve tension in stiff muscles. Contract stained muscle groups for 10 seconds and then relax for 15 seconds. Repeat as many times as necessary until you feel relief.

In the end, test anxiety stems from the unknown. The more you know prior to a test, the less anxious you will feel. Not only should you be prepared to answer the questions on the test but, the more you know about the test itself and testing environment, the less stress you will feel too. By knowing critical information like the location and hours of operation for your testing center, the type of test you will encounter (e.g. multiple choice, true or false, short-answer, or essay), and, the amount of time you have to complete the test, you are certain to decrease your potential anxiety.

For more tips to help you prepare for a less stressful testing experience see these related posts:

Avoiding problems with your ELI final examsTest Taking Strategy Tips
Putting off taking that first ELI exam?

What are your tips for reducing test anxiety?

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