September 28, 2015

Procrastination and Test Anxiety

One of the most common causes of test anxiety is procrastination. Putting off studying until the last minute rarely – if ever – sufficiently prepares you to do well on an exam. If you have put off all your studying until the week before or even the night before the test, chances are you will be nervous and unsure going into the test and have a difficult time answering questions correctly. Obviously, the solution to this cause of test anxiety is to plan ahead.

Preventing Procrastination

It seems clear that the best way to prevent procrastination is to plan ahead and begin scheduling study time from your first day of class. However, this is not enough motivation for some people. Sometimes, in order to overcome your urge to procrastinate, you must take a good look at yourself and discover the reasons why you procrastinate.


In addition to being a result of procrastination, test anxiety can also be a cause of procrastination. If you are particularly anxious about an upcoming test, even the thought of preparing for it might be enough to trigger an anxiety attack. If test anxiety itself is a root of your procrastination, focusing on the positive results of studying can help relieve anticipatory test anxiety.

Using Positive Thinking as a Tool

Positive thinking about your study efforts and about the test itself can help reduce the likelihood that you will procrastinate and leave your studying to the last minute. If you find yourself becoming anxious about studying itself, focus on the good things that studying will do for you. For example:

  • Studying will help increase your confidence, thus reducing your anxiety.
  • A steady study schedule will improve your recall, making the final test much less stressful.
  • Studying every day means you will not have to cram before the test, leaving you free to pursue more pleasant activities right up to the day of the test.

Focusing on these positive results of a steady study schedule that eliminates procrastination will also help reduce your test anxiety, both before and during the actual exam.