Feb 2017

Coping With Test Anxiety

February 21, 2017

It’s understandable to feel a little anxious about an exam, but it should never be a full blown panic situation- and yet for many learners it is. Learning to overcome test anxiety is a great way to ensure you maximize your potential and ensure all that hard work spent during your JC physics tuition doesn’t go to waste.

I wouldn’t do the test well

Firstly, let go of these statements about yourself. If you say it enough times, you will actually believe it. If you are in the ‘wouldn’t test well’ category, it’s probably a manifestation of test anxiety coming through.

What causes anxiety?

Anxiety in a test causes the body to activate our ‘fight or flight’ mechanism, but that reaction isn’t actually anxiety. There are three usual causes for test anxiety-  inefficient study causing memory lapse, pressure to do well, and mental ‘blocks’ towards the subject structure. If we can reduce all of these causes we can then reduce test anxiety.

What can I do before the test?

Study! Study slightly more than you think you need to. This is genuinely the number one cause of test anxiety. If you’re struggling in an exam, you likely didn’t study hard enough. Test conditions are pressurized, and this affects your recalling function if you are prone to panicking. The more repetition you do, the easier it would be to recall that subject matter. It will widen the neural memory pathways and assist with retention.
Lastly, take good care of yourself, do eat and sleep well. A tired and hungry brain is a stressed one and will exacerbate examination tension.

What can I do at the test?

Cramming is a bad idea on the morning of the test. Hopefully, you already took our advice and have studied well so there’s no need to study on the morning of the exam. At most, read a review by your physics tuition tutor to keep things fresh in your memory.

Skim through first!

It’s possible to control this anxiety beast and improve the quantity of knowledge retention. Skim the paper first [ only if you feel it will help you, but some don’t like it], relax, and don’t let the hard questions bog you down- move on and answer the simpler ones first.
Humans are wired for panic as a survival mechanism, but it’s more than possible to tame the beast and ace your paper with a few easy brain hacks.

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