September 28, 2015

Reducing Test Anxiety by Using Practice Tests

One great way to reduce test anxiety is to take practice tests in the days leading up to the actual exam. While diligent study can help you retain and recall the necessary information, taking practice tests will help you adjust to the format of the final test and give you practice in answering questions under pressure, especially if you work within the time limits established for each section of the test.

Finding Practice Tests

For most major exams, you can purchase study books that include practice tests. There are also numerous online resources that provide practice tests or partial practice tests that you can use for your study sessions. If you have difficulty finding practice tests, ask your instructor, school counselor, or academic advisor for assistance. He or she might even be able to supply a past version of the test to help you with your studies.


Setting Up Your Practice Test

In order to help you manage test anxiety on the day of the exam, try to set up your practice test so that it provides an experience similar to that of the real test. If possible, take the practice test in an empty classroom and have a friend time you just as you will be timed on the final exam.

When you take the practice test, notice what kinds of questions are included, as well as how many questions are on the test. Use this knowledge to plan a strategy for the final test. If you find it easier to finish the practice test if you do the essay questions first, for example, use this strategy on test day.

By taking practice tests in an environment similar to the final test environment and using them to make a plan for how to approach the exams, you will reduce your test anxiety through familiarity and be much more likely to score well on your exam.