Feeling nervous about a test is completely normal, but some students feel extra anxious about it. They struggle in concentrating, racing thoughts, or even feelings of dread that affect them physically through symptoms such as headache, irregular heartbeat, or nausea.

Test anxiety does not choose which exam you will encounter, may it be your SAT, ACT, and AP exams, or a simple long quiz, it has the power to sabotage your months of hard work. This does not reflect what you are truly capable of.

The ADAA stated that the causes of test anxiety may include lack of preparation, fear of failure, or bad test experiences in the past. Below are ways to cope up with test anxiety:

Be prepared

It may seem obvious but test preparation is a big factor to lessen anxiety. It will make you feel confident that when you enter your exam room, you will just feel a little nervous. Also, since you are confident, you will certainly answer all of the questions without any difficulty.

Get a proper sleep

If you think that pulling an all-nighter is a great idea, you’re wrong. Cramming should always be avoided. We advise you to have a good night’s sleep, 9–10 hours would suffice. It will be beneficial to you as it gives you proper rest while also providing you time for study.


Before taking a test, it is important to fuel up by eating a nutritious meal. Search for foods that will provide enough nutrients like smart snacks or fruits instead of sugar-induced treats.

Go to the testing room early

Being early in your exam area is a big help to lessen unnecessary anxiety. Make sure that you have packed your bag with the things that you will need the night before the exam. Set your alarm to prevent being late.

Have a positive attitude

Remembering a morale-boosting mantra keeps you away from anxiety. A simple “I can do this” can be very helpful to stay positive while taking the test.

Read everything carefully

Take your time and read the directions carefully. You surely wouldn’t want to exert time on a question just to realize you’re doing it wrong. Avoid being careless for such a small detail. Slow down for you to maintain your focus.

Don’t be distracted

Concentrate on your own paper. When you see your classmates scribbling or turning their papers to the next page, you don’t need to look at them in confusion. Keep your phase and forget about the students on the testing site.

Check the clock

If you have missed a lot of questions because the time is up, you need to improve this. Watch the clock to allow time for each test part. Scope out the test before starting. This way, you will know how much time you will allot per each question. Recheck your work if you finished your paper before the time is up.

Taking tests is part of college. Explore more about college life by browsing through MSM Unify’s other articles.

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