Happy Tuesday! I have compiled a list of tips for dealing with text anxiety. Keep in mind that nothing here will work for everyone. Make sure that you’re dealing with your mental health as school can be a difficult time for all.
Find Your Learning Style
You may have taken a learning style test in the past but likely you’ve forgotten your score or it has changed. To take a learning style test click here. My learning style is Solitary.Intrapersonal, meaning I learn best alone and using self-study. Other learning styles include; Aural/Auditory, Verbal/Linguistic, Physical/Kinesthetic, Logical/Mathematical, and Social/Interpersonal. You can learn more about the learning styles here. So How can this help with test anxiety? In the classroom or by yourself, you may have been studying in a way that’s ineffective for you. Now that the test is approaching, you’re worried you don’t know the material. By reviewing and studying in your learning style, you can absorb and understand more. You’ll be more confident and this will help calm you.
Study with a Friend
If you’re with someone you like, studying will be more fun and you won’t stress as much. Being around people you’re comfortable with is relaxing and you might even have fun being with them. They can also help you with the material, especially if they’re a classmate or have taken the class. They can help quiz you and make breaks more fun. One thing to be cautious of when studying with a friend is that they are not more hindering than helpful. By this, I mean that people can be unhelpful when they cause you stress or distract you from your task. Make sure to be around people who are there to help you.
Keep a Schedule
An all too common problem is putting off studying. Firstly, you may not have enough time to study properly and end up cramming which does more harm than good. Secondly, you may have started early enough, but you’ve got so much else on your plate that assignments become a priority. These problems can both be solved by scheduling your assignments. Essentially you want to take all your responsibilities into consideration so that everything gets the attention it needs and you’re not left stressed, worried, and unprepared. I suggest using a calendar or to-do list to plan and prioritize. For a more in-depth look at how you can schedule things, check out my post How to Optimize your Study Routine.
This seems to be a tip for both stress and studying that is strongly encouraged and highly ignored. Feeling tired can increase anxiety and be distracting. This can keep you from studying, and doing well on a test. Keeping in mind that people tend to be very busy, If you can’t get 6-8 hours of sleep, try to take naps during the day. There are many apps that can help you to take brief but powerful naps, and methods you can look into to make the most out of your nap. My go-to power nap has been a coffee nap. This entails drinking a cup of coffee quickly and then immediately taking a 20-minute nap. Learn more here. While I love caffeine, I encourage everyone to listen to their bodies. Learn when your body needs rest, sleep, food, or a boost of energy(caffeine). Don’t have caffeine if your body reacts badly to it and don’t drink it in excess.
Guided meditation works with lower level anxiety, when you need to focus your mind, and to stop negative thoughts. It can be used to help you sleep, calm you, get positive, and even just to distract you. I like listening to confidence boosting guided meditations the morning of a test, and even waiting to begin. It gets me focused and feeling positive. It’s a better use of I’vee, I’ve found, than worrying or cramming. Two of the apps I use for guided meditations are Calm (ios/Google) and 7 cups (ios/google). 7 cups is more of an anxiety resource app with a professional chat feature, personalized goals, etc, but does have really great guided meditations. Calm has many guided meditations as well as calming sleep stories that play while you go to bed.
Talk to your Teacher/Professor
Test anxiety is often caused bu feeling unprepared. Maybe you weren’t paying attention in a couple classes, or you were away, or you just didn’t understand the material. The vast majority of educators will be happy to help you. While it’s better to go sooner rather than later, they will understand your worries and help explain the topics again, or give you extra materials so you can learn the best you can. You can also e-mail your teacher and as them to explain and they might respond online, saving you a trip. Know what will work best for you and get the help you need. Going to TA’s and tutoring groups are another great idea. The teacher’s assistant has taken the class and has been present through the classes. They can help explain things to you. Whether the tutoring is through the school, teacher, or elsewhere, there are always programs offering help to students.
Visit a School Counselor
If test anxiety and other school worries are common, you can seek help with a school counselor. They can help to give you more resources and tips for dealing with test anxiety and can help to arrange supports such as a private test room, longer test-taking time, and online vs. written tests. Many are trained in mental health and can help you with many school and life issues. They are there to support you through your schooling and give you as much help as you need.
Talk to a Doctor
If your anxiety is severe or extends to areas outside your studies, talk to a doctor about your mental health. You can either go straight to a doctor specializing in mental health or talk to your family doctor about a referral. It’s important to get help early on and know that it’s completely normal.
Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think. What tips work for you? What ways do you know for dealing with test anxiety? Have a good day.