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How to cope with test anxiety

WEDNESDAY LIFE
By Grace Kirigha | October 7th 2015

Everyone suffers from exam anxiety and while a certain level of the anxiety is good, since it motivates students to prepare adequately, too much can be detrimental.

If you suffer from extreme anxiety, here are tips to help you:

• Study habits: Good study habits will ensure that you are adequately prepared for the exams. If you feel prepared, your confidence level goes a notch higher. The more your confidence, the less your anxiety.

• Preparation: A student who is completely prepared for a test will have least anxiety since they are able to adequately answer all questions asked. Start preparing early for the exam.

• No to cramming: Last minute readers suffer the most anxiety. If you start revising the night before the exams you will be forced to cram and this is a major cause of anxiety.

• Exercise: Some students assume physical exercise is a waste of time. However, exercising relieves one of stress and increases mental function. It also increases one’s energy levels. The more you exercise, the lesser the anxiety.

• Adequate sleep. Receiving adequate sleep is necessary for good health and is an effective way to reduce anxiety. Get plenty of sleep the entire week before and the night prior to the exam. Lack of enough sleep leads to fatigue which makes it difficult for one to concentrate or even remember anything.

• Eat enough: An empty, grumbling stomach will not let you focus on the test. Eat enough variety of food for the nutrients that are required for proper brain function and physical energy and even if you do not have time, get a healthy snack like an apple.

• Positive attitude: Avoid pessimism. Negative thoughts only worsen the anxiety making it difficult for you to perform well. Be confident in your ability to perform well and the anxiety levels will go down.

• Relax: A few minutes of relaxation before the test is good. Take slow, deep breaths. Clear your head by focusing on something completely unrelated to the test like something fun you are looking forward to. This will calm you down and you will be better prepared for the exam.

• Seek help: If you consistently go through anxiety speak to a teacher or a counselor. There are students whose minds go completely blank before they sit for an exam, some even pass out. Test anxiety can also be a psychological condition that needs to be sorted out by an expert.

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