There are a wide range of strategies you can use to help deal with anxiety:
- Research has indicated that spending several minutes before a test to write about your feelings will help decrease test anxiety and improve test scores. The University of Chicago researchers “believe worrying competes for computing power in the brain’s ‘working,’ or short-term memory.”
- Practice putting yourself in testing situations when studying. The more you get used to the experience and feelings of testing the less anxious you will feel when in the actual test.
- Just before the test, avoid talking about the test material with your friends. Chances are fixating on the test material and talking about it with your friends right before the test will only make you more anxious.
- Approach the test with a positive attitude. Don’t go into the test expecting the worst to happen. You can remind yourself that you have studied and know the material.
- Avoid distractions so that you can focus on the test and not on what other students are doing. Do not compare yourself with others and how they are doing on the test.
- Take a deep breath, relax, and do the best you can.
I should also mention that smart testing strategies like getting a good night of sleep, eating breakfast, having all of your required materials (pen, pencil, calculator, scratch paper, etc), getting regular exercise, and giving yourself plenty of time to get to your test on time will also benefit you as a whole and in testing situations.