September 28, 2015

Test Anxiety and Your Test Environment

The environment in which you will be taking your exam can either help or hurt your ability to avoid test anxiety. Establishing some control over your testing environment as soon as you enter the room for your test can go a long way toward alleviating your test anxiety.

Scoping Out the Territory

If possible, arrive a bit early so that you will be able to take a look around the room and become more accustomed to the space before you begin your test. If you get to the testing site early enough, you might even be able to choose your seat before others arrive.


Try to pick the seat in the room that will make you feel the most comfortable with your surroundings. If it makes you nervous to be surrounded by other people, choose a seat near the front or back of the room or near a wall or door where people can sit on only one or two sides of you. If looking out a window is comforting and will help you fend off test anxiety, sit near the window. On the other hand, if the window is distracting, sit toward an inside wall to remove the temptation of letting your mind wander to what is going on outside.

Personalizing Your Environment

If there is anything you can do, even in a fairly sterile testing environment, to make yourself feel less stressed, do so. Anything that will help reduce the likelihood of experiencing the sort of test anxiety that can interfere with your ability to show your knowledge is worth the effort. Whether it is a lucky pen, a bottle of water, a worry stone in your pocket, chewing gum, a snack, or something else that helps soothe you in stressful times, keep it at hand for test day. Of course, you should make sure you do not violate any rules regarding what you can take into the testing room.

Taking control of your environment will help you feel more confident and secure as you take your exam, thereby reducing the possibility of severe test anxiety.