You studied, you really did. Now you sit in the class and wait for the teacher to hand out the tests.... YOU CANNOT REMEMBER ANYTHING.... you are sweating... you cannot breathe....
This is going to be a disaster.
Have you ever felt like this before or during a test? Lets look at a few ideas that can help you.
You may suffer from 'test anxiety'. There are different things that can bring this on. It can be because you know you did not study enough, you are scared of failing, you are scared you will do as badly as the previous time, your parents are very strict or they expect a lot from you, or you are too hard on yourself.
The first thing you need to understand is that you are not perfect. Nobody is. Even though you can get 100% in a test, it will most probably not happen every time. It does not mean that if you get less, there is something wrong with you.
If you really studied hard and you did your best, that must be good enough for you. If you know or believe you can do better, go for it, but do not put so much pressure on yourself to be 'perfect' that it puts you into a state of panic.
Test anxiety is actually a type of performance anxiety. Performance anxiety is when a person feels worried about how they will perform (do on something), especially when it's really important. For instance, you might feel performance anxiety when you're trying out for the school band or for the basketball team.
This 'anxiety' can have a huge influence on your body. It can make you feel totally sick and sweaty and even give you a headache. It can get so bad that you will believe that you are going to pass out and even start throwing up.
This will most probably not happen, but is is a bad feeling and the more you stress, the worse you feel.
You may feel that you are the only one that ever feels this way, but the truth is lots of people, young and old can experience this feeling. It is okay to be a little scared before a test or have some 'butterflies' in your stomach, but the problem is when it gets so out of control that you cannot focus on the test itself.
Now its becoming a vicious circle. You stress, you cannot concentrate, you stress more, you cannot focus and remember the answers and you stress more.
Tests are not only for school - through our whole life we need to deal with tests. We need to pass our driving test or you can start a new work and will be tested on what you know and if you can deal with the work given to you. So the quicker you learn to deal with 'test anxiety' and accept the outcome of your test, the better it will be for you.
Anxiety is a feeling a person gets when he or she expects something stressful to happen. When you're under stress, your body releases the hormone adrenaline, which prepares it for danger, like when you're running away from your older brother! Adrenaline causes the physical symptoms, such as sweating, a pounding heart, and rapid breathing. These symptoms can be mild or intense.
If you keep on focusing on the negative and saying things to yourself like I am going to fail, I do not know the answers, I am not good enough etc, you are going to get more and more stressed.
So the first thing to do is calm yourself. Take a few deep breaths and say to yourself I've got this.
Lets look at a few tips that can help you
- If you know that you are a 'perfectionist' and cannot accept anything less, you would want to talk to someone that can help you. If you talk to your parents or teacher about how it makes you feel when you have to write a test, they can help you find ways in which you can keep yourself calm.
- If you know you did prepare and study for the test, you can calm yourself down in believing in yourself. If you did not study you will put more pressure on yourself, because even if you calm down, it does not mean you will remember the answer, because you did not study. Do not put that extra type of pressure on yourself.
- Make sure that you block out any negative and bad thoughts about yourself and the test and rather concentrate on the fact that you are prepared.
- If you do not know an answer straight away, do not panic. Just move on to the next one and then most of the time when you do not focus on thinking too hard about an answer, it will come back to you. You can always go back to the previous questions. If you can really not remember the answer, just accept that we can all forget sometimes and next time make sure you do better.
- If you have slept enough the previous night and ate a good meal, you will also feel more ready. Do not try and study through the night. Even if you think you have studied many hours, you brain stopped taking in work, so you are actually just wasting time that you can rather sleep and rest.