Take control of test anxiety

Below are lists of things you can do before, during and after tests to help manage anxiety.

  1. Attend class regularly and complete all assignments.
  2. Use good study habits and develop good test-taking skills. Learn more at UC Learning Commons.
  3. Put things in perspective. One test does not determine your talents and abilities as a successful student or define you as a person.
  4. Maintain a positive attitude.
  5. Don’t forget the basics: Healthy eating, exercise, sleep, do things you enjoy.
  6. Learn and practice relaxation techniques. Belly breathing, imagery, muscle relaxation, download the Calm app for free.
  7. Use imagery to boost your confidence.
  8. Night before the test: Get a good night’s sleep. Get into a pre-test frame of mind that works for you. Have all class/test materials packed and ready to go.
  1. Eat a good breakfast. Avoid coffee if you are prone to ‘caffeine jitters.’
  2. Try to do something relaxing the hour before the test.
  3. Arrive prepared and positive. Don’t come too early or too late. Avoid talking to other students who add anxiety. Pick a seat that is best for you – preferably with few distractions.
  4. Personal Pep Talk! Talk positively to yourself. Tell yourself you can do it. Remind yourself you have passed tests before.
  5. Calm yourself, take a deep breath, listen to a meditation on the Calm app.
  1. Put into practice helpful test taking strategies.
  2. Expect some anxiety.
  3. Practice calming techniques throughout the exam. Breathe. Stretch. Tense/relax muscles.
  4. Use thought stopping and positive self-talk if you find yourself worrying.
  5. Focus on the immediate situation.
  6. Don’t panic when others start handing in their test, go at your own pace.
  1. Reward yourself!
  2. Communicate with your instructor.
  3. Decide if you need additional academic skills. Check out UC learning commons
  4. Learn from the experience.
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