Coaching Yourself Out of Test Anxiety

All the best athletes have coaches to help them reach their full potential. When facing the rigors of studying, testing, and the added complication of test anxiety, a coach can be helpful.

Choosing a Coach


A friend, classmate, or relative can serve as a coach for you. You might also be able to find a tutor or advisor at school to take on the role. Be sure to enlist the help of someone who will be supportive and encouraging and can maintain a positive attitude while working with you. Someone with a naturally negative outlook on life is likely to be more detrimental than helpful.

Also, find someone who is willing to stay in touch with you and help you keep track of your goals. You will need to be accountable to your coach, and he or she will be responsible for being available for you.

How a Coach Can Help

One important way a coach can help you is by working with you to establish a series of goals. These goals will serve as stepping-stones along your way toward the final test.

In addition to setting goals regarding your study time, you and your coach should also make goals specifically targeted to reduce and control your test anxiety. One way to do this is to write down each individual fear you have about the test that can trigger anticipatory test anxiety, along with what actions you can take on a regular basis to counteract those fears. For example, if you are afraid of becoming confused during multiple choice questions, your goal could be to practice ten or twenty multiple choice questions during each study session until you feel confidant you can handle them.

As you progress through your goals and come closer to test day, your coach can help you by checking on your progress and holding you accountable for achieving the goals you have set. By the time test day arrives, most of your fears will be conquered, and you can set anxiety aside for good as you do your very best on your final exam.

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