Test Anxiety

By Kate O

Test Anxiety

As I among many other high school students prepare for end-of-the-year testing, whether finals or state tests, many encounter some degree of test anxiety.  

From a few different incidents, I remember how stressful tests can be…


You forget the rest of a concept and your palms grow moist.  

You look at the clock and you just stress yourself out more.  

Your brain will not calm itself no matter how hard you try yet you have not finished the test and if you do not, your grade is sure to sink.  


Like me, if any of these symptoms have occurred when you are taking a test, chances are you have test anxiety.

So what are some ways you can combat stressing on the test before you’re taking it?

  • Positive thoughts; for me to perform to my fullest capability, I must trust that I am capable of performing well and uphold this thought with evidence that I studied well to prepare.  It is so easy to have a few negative thoughts that seep in and spread like wildfire throughout you.  Replace these with positives though it may be hard and try to think of positives for every negative thought.  Studies show that negativity can alter your brain’s ability to process information, remember the past, and may even pose a higher risk for dementia later on.

  • Don’t rate yourself/compare yourself.  It is so easy to start saying “I am going to do really badly” or “I am SURE he’s gotten A’s on every test this year.”  Instead, have a self pep-talk session and tell yourself that you are smart and will do just fine if you try your best preparing before and are ready for the test on test day.

  • Review the information you need over a long period of time so your brian can retain all the information it needs.  If you cram it all in the night before, not only will your brain have a higher chance of forgetting it, but you may have trouble sleeping.

  • Speaking of sleeping, a deep quality and long duration of sleep will boost your score.  When improving sleep quality, I find it helpful to take a hot shower, put on cozy pajamas, do something relaxing (like reading a book, creating artwork, writing your feelings of the day, drinking a hot cup of tea, or cuddling with a pet).  Then, when it’s time for you to sleep, you can fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly the whole night to really give your body and brain the rest it needs.

  • On the day of the test, wearing comfy clothes can help you stay focused on doing your best instead of feeling uncomfortable and distracted from tight pants, a long sleeve that is too warm, or an itchy sweater.  Also make it a point to eat healthy so your brain has the energy it needs to work at an optimum level.  Don’t ditch the protein for a poptart that is sure to make your stomach grumble by the time the test rolls around.


As the end-of-year tests approach, these quick and applicable tips are sure to ease your test-day-jitters and enhance your performance capabilities.