Dealing With Test-Taking Anxiety

Whatever the acronym on your plate (ACT, SAT, SHSAT, ISEE), the pit of dread in your stomach is not helping. Here are some ways of dealing with the feeling that the rest of your life comes down to 4 hours on a Saturday morning.

1. Breathe. Deep inhale, deep exhale. It’s cliche, I know, but it really helps to take a few deep breaths. Remember that breathing is one of the few things that’s necessary for life and it’s become automatic for most of us. Take a few moments and focus just on your breathing. Try it now!

2. Talk it out. Classes, tests, parents, dates, sports, and countless other things that pull you in different ways are taking a toll on you - and you may not even notice! Find someone you trust like a family member or friend, and talk to them about all of it. Venting is a great way to lighten ourselves emotionally. If you don’t like to talk, write it out!

3. Take a real break. You love your video games and adore your social media, but the humdrum of everyday entertainment itself can be exhausting. A real break means putting your phone on silent, turning off your computer, and not actively engaging with anything. Lay down and listen to music or go to a cafe for people watching.

4. Walk in the park. Being in nature is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and improve mood. A 30 minute trip to a park nearby can really make a difference, where you can take a break from the human society and appreciate that you’re alive with the chance to be around trees.

5. Have a blast! I always take the day before a big exam to have fun. Get your friends together and go bowling, go-karting, or for a picnic. Spend time around people you love doing something that excites you and makes you happy. Doing this the day before your test lets your brain refresh and get a break from all that stress.

6. Sleep. Some students overextend themselves, studying very long hours and becoming more inefficient as they get more tired. Sleep is a great way to restore your brain, so that you can get back on the process with a fresh mind. Concentration and memory are extremely dependent on sleep. Please get your 8 hours!

Best of Luck!


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