The difference between a Zen-like test experience and an anxiety-ridden test experience is pretty clear. You either know what you’re doing, or you don’t. You either have confidence in you abilities, or you have doubt creeping in and clouding you response to every question.
Test taking doesn’t have to be traumatizing. If you prepare properly, you can control the apprehension. Here are five proven college test strategies that’ll help you release the stress and focus on the task at hand.
1. Get a good night’s rest and eat a good breakfast You’d be surprised by how much rest and balanced eating can enhance your test performance. You need to have a clear head and energy to execute. That means no grumbling tummies or weighted eyelids. Get to bed at a decent hour and in some protein in the morning. Bring a snack and water bottle if you have to, and dress in your pajamas if it’ll make you more comfortable.
2. Don’t cram for your tests Distribute your studying over a period of a few days. The more time you spend on the material, the more it’ll stick in your mind. Cramming can lead to great successes, but years later, the academic adhesive will have worn off. Put a few days of coating on the strips of information you need to learn, and you’ll be able to recall trivial college information for years to come.
3. Relax. Clear you mind. Close your eyes. Breath. Get you’re favorite song stuck in your head, and let it be the soundtrack that drowns out the anxiety and distracts you into critical thinking. Bring a pillow to class. Wear a thinking cap. Count backwards starting from the number ten. Do whatever you have to do to get your mind ready to go. You’re going to need your brain to be tranquil and fully functional.
4. Anticipate the questions you’ll be asked Figure out what’s going to be on the test. Ask questions about the format. Find out what material is supposed to be covered. If you can be strategic about your studying, then you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle.
5. Share and exchange knowledge with your classmates Meet with your classmates and pool together different areas of expertise. Share what you know and learn from other people. Stick to the facts and save your best ideas and frameworks for your own blue book. Don’t hold out on your study buddies, just don’t drop every part of your personal take.
If you prepare for the test you’ll be fine. Control the variables involved. Make sure your rested, relaxed, well-fed and well-read. Meet with your fellow classmates and don’t cram your study time into just one night. Figure out what to expect, and you will have nothing to worry about.
Chris Stout is a feature writer for CareersandEducation.com . Review more of his work and read about using a Career learning center colleges. and explore his thoughts on online degree programs .