Home General Managing Test Anxiety: Best Tips and Strategies for Students

Managing Test Anxiety: Best Tips and Strategies for Students

Managing Test Anxiety

Have you ever experienced this? Despite your hard work studying for your exam, your mind goes blank when you sit for it. You may then notice your palms becoming sweaty and your stomach churning.

There may be a reason why your grades and scores don’t reflect your true abilities if you exhibit these classic symptoms of test anxiety. Managing this during and before a stressful test is a skill you can learn. Fortunately, you’ll understand this and more in the following sections of this post.

What is Test Anxiety?

A bit of test anxiety is fine, but for some students, it becomes debilitating. The combination of racing thoughts, lack of concentration, or feelings of dread can cause physical symptoms like an irregular heartbeat, headache, or nausea.

Test anxiety can derail hard work for a critical history final or a crucial ACT exam. But with the best tips and strategies, you can survive stressful exam periods. For instance, you can get a free SAT prep test to help you beat test anxiety and enroll in your chosen college. You can use this as a starting point, but there’s more.

Best Tips to Manage Test Anxiety

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) identifies several causes of test anxiety, including a fear of failure, insufficient preparation time, or bad past test experiences. But there’s no need to feel alone. The following tips will help manage test anxiety in the days leading up to your test and during it.

Learn and Implement Time Management Techniques

Students can manage their test anxiety by managing their time well. Besides, researchers found that students taught time management techniques experienced lower levels of exam-related stress than those who weren’t. To manage your time effectively, you must get enough sleep and rest to feel more energized to study. You’ll be less stressed if you work your time well.

You can achieve straight-A grades and still get eight hours of sleep per night by using the following time management techniques:

  • Spend 40 to 50 minutes studying before taking a break. Generally, students are more productive if they work in 40 to 50-minute blocks.
  • Make sure you complete your assignments a day or two before the deadline. It will allow you to go over your work thoroughly.
  • Make study time a priority. Treat it as a fixed appointment by putting it on your calendar.

Invest in Progress, Not Perfection

Are you feeling unworthy sometimes? Are you concerned that you will never meet your goals? You might be a perfectionist if that’s the case. It means you are too harsh on yourself. So it would help if you focused on your progress instead of your perceived shortcomings. It may sound ideal to be a perfectionist, but it often leads to unnecessary stress.

Here are some ways to handle it:

  • Instead of aiming for the impossible, set realistic goals.
  • Celebrate both big and small victories.
  • Do things you enjoy when you aren’t studying.
  • Your most important relationships deserve your attention.

As you contribute to others at home and school, you’ll shift your focus toward others’ needs. Using words like “acceptable” and “good” will help you make progress rather than always striving for “perfection.”

Engage in Deep Breathing Techniques

Deep breathing techniques involve taking slow deep breaths and exhalations to achieve relaxation. According to scientific research, it can reduce your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. These are just a few of the deep breathing exercises to try:

  • Belly breathing — Lie or sit comfortably and put an arm on your tummy. Take deep breaths through your nose and feel your hand pulled outwards as you fill your lungs with air. Then exhale through your mouth as you feel your hand move inward. Make five to six repetitions of these.
  • Morning breathing — Start standing up straight, bending your knees slightly, and bending forward from the waist. Keep your arms limply hanging toward the floor. Take a deep breath slowly, then return to your original standing position. As you straighten your body, your head should be the last part to do so. As you exhale, return to a bent position. Make five or six repetitions.

List 3 Things You’re Grateful For

There’re many things for which you should be grateful. You may be thankful for loyal friends or a loving family. Perhaps you’re just glad you passed your last math test. However, you may not express that gratitude very often. One of the best ways to improve your health and manage anxiety is by listing everything you’re grateful for.

Research has shown that expressing gratitude has several positive effects, including lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, and boosting the immune system. Take a moment to list three things you’re grateful for when taking a break after studying. For example, you may appreciate the fast internet that enhances your learning or the fact that you can attend school. Cultivating a habit of gratitude will benefit your mind and body.


It’s essential to be in the right frame of mind before exams to make you more relaxed, boost your concentration, and increase your chances of getting good grades. The tips above can help you manage your test anxiety by reducing stress, getting organized, and preparing for exams.