More often than not, test taking means lots of sweaty palms and nail biting. However, if you are able to manage your fear and keep your anxiety in check, you will be able to recall the information you studied more clearly and your exams will be a breeze!
So, how can you overcome test anxiety?
Try these tips:
- Move! While you are studying, get up and walk around a bit and change your scenery. During an exam, you can stretch your arms, point and flex your feet, roll your head – whatever you can to move your muscles without disturbing your fellow test-takers. Moving increases blood flow, which in turn increases oxygen flow to your brain.
- Breathe! Not just regular breathing, and certainly not hyperventilating, but rather deep, controlled breathing. Try a cycle of 9 seconds: 3 seconds breathing in through your nose, 3 seconds holding your breath, 3 seconds exhaling through your mouth. This also increases oxygen to the brain, and helps you to clear your head.
- Distract yourself! Take a brief timeout to think of a happy place – a fond memory, close friend, favorite photo, a reward you’ll give yourself after the exam – to give your brain a break from the anxiety associated with the topic at hand.
Each of these simple tasks will help you to address the anxiety and get it out of the way so you can focus on the material without the distraction of your fear. And of course, be sure to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy meal before the exam. Good luck to all of our students in the accelerated nursing program in Indianapolis. I look forward to hearing about your test-taking success as you move through our program!