Today I want to talk about a topic that can be heavy on many people’s minds: testing anxiety. We have all been there, where we study really hard for several weeks, taking fantastic notes, and nodding along with what the professor is saying. When we get to the test, our minds go blank. We may feel a little hot in the head and begin to doubt ourselves. These are some characteristics of performance anxiety, and I want to quickly mention some strategies and tricks to handle these situations.
1. Acknowledging You Have It
Within the world of mindfulness, we like to talk about being mindful of your circumstance, emotions, or even the thoughts you may have going from day to day. With this being said, we sometimes have a temptation to push away thoughts of stress when we feel them. We almost attempt to invalidate their existence. From experience, you could probably agree this just doesn’t work. This does not mean I want to tell you to completely let the anxiety overwhelm you and to do nothing about it, but to simply say to yourself, “I am having testing anxiety, and it is okay.” When we affirm the issues in our minds, we don’t necessarily say they are right, but just that we are present with them. This affirmation aided tremendously whenever I would either perform on the court or even inside of a classroom.
2. Remember Your Successes
Sometimes, we forget the number of times where we studied incredibly hard and succeeded on our tests. It is almost like we forget them once we are in the classroom being tested over new material you thought you knew. But the reality is that your ability to care enough about testing success indicates that you have done it before. You set high standards because of the progress you have made thus far. For us to be more collected about our strategies entering testing, we must also remember the times where we were successful.
3. Use Relaxation Techniques When Necessary
This strategy is probably the most obvious to do but can be very easy to forget. Whenever you get bogged down on a problem or think you don’t know, take several deep breathes to recollect your thoughts. Sometimes, a quick break from the test gives us enough time to become confident in answering questions. However, do be mindful of the clock, as you do not have all the time in the world to commit to these relaxation techniques.
I hope these tips will be helpful to anyone struggling to find confidence in their test-taking ability. I just want to encourage you and tell you that you have studied hard, and you should be very proud of the time you have committed to learning. I wish you guys the best of luck in your studies!
Written by Jimmy Jian
Mindful Mercer Advertising Chair