Conquering Test Anxiety
April is the start of finals testing for many college students, with high schools following suit during May and June. There is immense pressure put on young adults in these age groups to do well on these exams, as they often comprise as much as half of their overall grades. While many students handle the stress of testing without difficulty, there is a population that suffers terribly from test anxiety.
There are ways to combat test anxiety. One popular method is the use of clinical aromatherapy, such as the Ascents® Focus No. 04 personal clinical aromatherapy inhaler. Focus is a scientifically-formulated blend of natural essential oils that are proven by research to improve concentration, attention and mental acuity. Cost effective, portable and discreet, Calm is an excellent means of helping to control the distressing symptoms of test anxiety while still allowing users to stay alert.
Besides Ascents® clinical aromatherapy, there are additional ways to ease the symptoms of test anxiety:
- Don't wait to prepare. Studying is a skill like anything else that needs to be learned, and developing good study habits takes time. Be sure to start studying at least a week before an exam, rather than cramming at the last minute. If a practice test is available, use it. If possible, time it the same way the real test will be timed.
- Learn how to test more effectively. There are often important basics regarding test taking that are skipped over by those who suffer from test anxiety. Simple things like slowing down to read and fully absorb the test instructions; writing essay outlines in advance; and completing the known questions first to build confidence can all help with exam taking.
- Stay on task. Concentrate only on what's immediately important -- the test. It often helps to refrain from speaking with other students about the material being covered before the exam.
- Learn coping techniques. There are cognitive behavioral strategies that can be very effective. Taking deep, slow breaths, or utilizing progressive relaxation techniques can make it easier to focus on the exam.
- Develop better health habits. It's not just emotional health that can impact testing success; physical health can also play a role. Getting adequate exercise, eating right and prioritizing sleep are essential components of general good health, and therefore integral to any test anxiety reduction plan.
- Seek out and utilize available resources. Schools at just about every level offer access to a counseling center. These generally provide specialized services such as classes focused on test-taking skills, general stress-reduction seminars, or individual appointments with counselors to discuss specific problems.