Although sufficient preparation is one of the best ways to tackle testing anxiety, there are also things you can do on the day of the test to keep yourself calmer and more focused. The way you approach your test taking on the day of the test can help reduce or control your experience of test anxiety.
Preparation Before the Test Begins
Before going to the location where you will be taking the test, be sure to have a well-balanced meal. This is particularly important if your test is early in the morning, as taking the test without breakfast is likely to hinder your focus or memory retention. Besides eating a good meal before the test, take a few minutes to stretch or do a short workout to wake up your body and reduce some stress symptoms. In addition, glance over your notes on sections you feel are the most difficult. This last-minute reinforcement of the material can help jog your memory when you have the test in front of you.
Deciding How to Tackle the Test
Making a quick plan at the beginning of the testing period can help you pace yourself so that you do not end up spending too much time on the first part of the test, which can result in your having to rush through the rest in order to complete it within the given time period. Instead of jumping right into the first question, take a quick look through the entire test. Is there any section that looks particularly challenging? Are there any questions that look unfamiliar? Make a note of these, as well as noting sections that you think you will be able to finish quickly and easily.
It is not always necessary to answer each question in order, so consider your personal preferences in the next step. Will you feel more comfortable tackling the hard questions first? If so, work on these questions before moving on to easier questions. Another possibility is to alternate between more difficult and easier sections, thereby giving yourself a small break between the challenging sections.
Be sure to keep an eye on the clock. If a difficult question is taking too long, stop working on it and move on to an easier section. You can always come back and do additional work on the harder sections, but you do not want to sabotage questions you are certain you know the answers to by spending too much time trying to answer harder ones. Also, tackling the easier questions can help
build your confidence before you go back to the more difficult sections of the test.