September 28, 2015

Using Test Anxiety to Your Advantage

If you have worked on methods to reduce your test anxiety but still feel some trepidation when you consider your upcoming exams, do not despair. In some ways, test anxiety can actually work to your advantage.

Taking Control of Test Anxiety

Anxiety is a tricky sensation in that sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between anxiety and excitement. Both produce butterflies in the stomach, a rapid heartbeat, quick breathing, and other symptoms of an adrenaline rush. While these side effects can be distracting and discomfiting, they can also help increase your focus if you channel them in that way.

Common techniques for alleviating test anxiety can also help you control it and make it work for you. These include:

  • Taking deep, slow breaths.
  • Focusing on positive thoughts.
  • Using a mantra to steady your thinking.

All of these techniques can make your anxiety less acute and transform it from a distracting force into a positive one that helps you perform at your highest level.

Changing Your View of Test Anxiety

If you begin to feel anxious, imagine the feeling in your mind as one of anticipation and excitement rather than anxiety and fear. Looking forward to something feels very similar to dreading it in many ways, so switching the way you interpret the sensations can flip the switch in your brain that allows you to use those feelings to your advantage.

This might seem like an overly simplistic way to deal with the sometimes debilitating effects of test anxiety, but used in conjunction with other techniques to reduce stress and study methods to help you perform better on your exams, it can be a highly effective tool in your quest to pass your final exams.