We’ve all been there, the exam is coming up, and you have no clue how you’re going to pass. Not only that, you don’t even know where to start to study! The night before, you might cram as much as you can. The day of, you fret, say a few prayers, and hope for the best.
It is a stressful cycle that all of us have been caught in – and, yeah, it stinks! But what if we told you there is a way to beat exam anxiety?
If you follow the methods below, then you will not only eliminate text anxiety (or at least the majority of it because, let’s be real, tests are anxious for everyone, even the geniuses among us) you will also increase the amount of time you have to relax and spend doing the things you really want to do.
Sound too good to be true? Y’all, it’s not.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – you are looking for a magic pill, right? Sorry to break it to you, this isn’t a magic pill, but it is an excellent method to study while also saving time and reducing exam stress. Check it out below!
Eight Tips to Beat Test Anxiety
Tip #1: Find out the date of the exam
This might seem straightforward, but it is worth mentioning because it’s kind of important to know what day you’re actually taking the test. Mind-blowing, I know. But, honestly, a big part of exam anxiety comes with being surprised when the actual exam comes.
What? The test is tomorrow!? Noooooo.
Cue face grabs and moans of despair.
We do not want that to happen to you. So, to eliminate this part of test anxiety, be sure to find out exactly when the test is and put that on your calendar! To go one step further, you could put a one-week reminder on your calendar as well, so you won’t be completely caught off guard.
Tip #2: Go to class
I know, obvious much? But as the college kids know…you don’t have to go to class in college.
Hmm, perhaps I should have whispered that, so the high school kids didn’t hear it.
Going to class is important because studying the book alone can be a huge waste of time (when it comes to test-taking). Seriously. If you have the memory of a robot, then go ahead and memorize the entire textbook, but for all us humans out there, let’s just study what the teacher wants us to, mkay?
After class, write down what the teacher mentioned was important, and be sure to review that. From a pure saving time perspective, the more you learn from class and from the professor, the less work you have to do after class to try to figure things out on your own from the textbook.
This tip is the easiest one y’all. Wake up, go to class, and the teacher will tell you exactly what will be on the exam. Which takes us to tip #3.
Tip #3: Ask the teacher what is going to be on the exam
Literally, just ask because no teacher wants you to fail. They might have wanted that in the ol’ yonder days when a student’s standardized test wasn’t tied to the teacher’s own performance, but you better believe they do not want that now.
Believe it or not, teachers and professors want every single one of their students to pass and will literally tell you what to study. All you need to do is ask! If you pay attention in class, they will even give you hints like:
“Now, pay close attention to this part…”
“This is important…”
“You will be tested on this…”
“I want you to pay attention to this…”
“This will be on the test…”
If your high school teacher or college professor says anything along those lines, then you better believe that whatever they are mentioning is going to show up on the exam. So be sure to highlight it in your notes!
In addition, for all the college kids out there, if your professor offers a cram session, GO TO IT. They are basically finger feeding you what is going to be on the test. So, eat it up.
Tip #4: Create a list of what is going to be on the exam
If you followed tips #2 and #3, then you should have a basic idea of what will be on the exam. If you did not, and you still have a few days before the test, then go back to tip #3 and ask your teacher what is going to be on the test.
If you are terrified to talk to the teacher, then grab a friend to do it for you (in fact, this is covered in tip #5). Once you have your list of what is going to be on the exam, you can better study for the exam.
Now, the important thing about the list is – you do not have to study it all at once!
In fact, don’t look at your list and think, wow, this is impossible. No, no, it isn’t. It’s not even close to impossible (believe me, the brain is amazing and can handle it). The trick is to just study one thing on the list at a time. Once you finish that item, move to the next.
Studying one thing at a time will help you reduce your anxiety because it will allow you to focus, and it will give you a sense of accomplishment when you cross that study goal off the list.
Tip #5: Form a study group
You are not the only one who wants to pass the test. Seriously, just look around; everyone in this class wants to pass! They might want to pass by providing the least amount of effort possible, but they still want to pass.
This is when you can form a study group to divide and conquer. One person can pay close attention to when the teacher is mentioning what is important for the test. One person can literally ask the teacher what is going to be on the test. And one person can ask the TA (teacher’s assistant in college who usually runs the study session) what is going to be on the test.
It is important for students to understand that life is competition and the biggest competitive advantage in life is cooperation.
In other words, studying is a team sport! But it’s one of those team sports where everyone wins. So, form your team, and get to helping each other.
In study groups, you can share some of the workload, learn from one another, and encourage each other. From a psychological perspective, when you know that others are counting on you, you listen better and take better notes.
In addition, when you try to explain something to another person, it reinforces your own knowledge. Seriously, try it out. After you learn something, try and explain it to another person. Then you will really know if you learned it or not.
In the Blast Study Method, there is an option to form study groups and share material! Blast really believes in cooperation when taking exams and encourages that through our method.
Tip #6: Re-frame your mind
Many students think they are naturally bad test takers. However, scientists have mapped the entire human genome and found that there is no gene for test-taking. Therefore no one is naturally bad at taking tests! They are just not prepared and lack belief in themselves.
Let’s get over that, shall we?
The key to overcoming this negative belief is called re-framing. Re-framing is a process where you look at your test-taking ability through a new window or a new frame. You build this new frame by answering questions effectively. This is a large part of the Blast Study Method.
When you answer questions effectively, you start to re-frame your mind into becoming a great test taker. Olympic gymnasts follow this methodology to calm themselves down under the extreme pressure of Olympic competitions. They practice, have mock competitions, and visualize themselves succeeding.
You can do the same thing with studying! You can study, have mock quizzes and exams, and visualize yourself doing well or getting an A. The Blast Study Method does just this by giving you organized questions to help improve your test-taking confidence.
Tip #7: Start early
It is best if you do not wait until the last minute to study (i.e. the day before the test or, dare I say, tHe cLaSs pErioD beFoRe tHe tEsT). Waiting until the last minute is where the majority of test anxiety comes from: you wait, get surprised that the exam is tomorrow, then cram. It’s a vicious cycle.
Ideally, it would be wonderful to review what the professor spoke about in class after class each day. Though, sometimes, that is not possible, which is why we wanted you to make that one-week reminder to the test date (see tip #1)! At the very least, you will have a one-week heads up.
Blast Study is a great way to start studying early. The Blast Study method prepares a course study plan for you that tells you when to study. You will not be surprised when the test arrives using the Blast Study method. You will also be more confident because you will have taken mock quizzes and exams on the Blast Study site.
Tip #8 Study hands-free and on the go
Um, say what? How can I study hands-free? Yes, this can be a bit tricky for many students. Oftentimes students need their tablet to study and have to have their hands available to scroll.
But the best way to study on the go is through audio learning.
The Blast Study Method uses Alexa and audio learning as an easy-to-use, hands-free, on-the-go study method! Alexa will read questions and narratives to you that you can answer while exercising, cooking, cleaning, commuting, or many other daily activities.
And those are our 8 tips to help beat test anxiety!
Remember, studying can be easy and fun if you have the right strategy but terrifying if you don’t. This is also the case for taking tests. If you are not confident in your study method, then you won’t be confident during the exam.
But, with these methods, not only will you increase your test-taking confidence, you will also reduce your test-taking anxiety and improve your overall grades.
So, try it out and happy studying!