“Well, yes!”, would be a frequent answer. Many people have “test anxiety” which means they sort of freeze to varying degrees when taking a tests. Are you one of them?
I remember getting uptight on a test when I took my National Board Exam. It had been a loooooooooooonnnnngggg time since I had taken a test so that was part of it. A lot was riding on this test…including a 10% raise! I worked hard to prepare but really didn’t know what to expect so I was nervous. Add to that even more…it was all on a computer screen and it was timed! I felt like a basket case….very unusual for me.
I’m glad I experienced it, though, because now I really understand other people with this problem. Some students deal with it constantly. What can you do? I’m leaving a list of tips below but before I get there, here is one you may not have tried. Go buy some Silly Putty. Keep it in your hand, not your writing hand, of course. Just squeeze it…as much or as little as you want. It dispels some of the extra energy you have generated….sometimes called nervous energy. That excess nervous energy is distracting and can drain some of your focus. Give it a try.
1. Make sure you are prepared. We all get nervous when asked to do something we don’t know how to do.
2. Breathe deeply and slowly in and out through your nose. Helps calm you down.
3. Chew gum to dispel extra energy. It gives the part of you that needs to “do something” a way to stay busy.
4. Have everything you need: scratch paper if permitted, calculator with fresh batteries, pencils, erasers. Water if permitted.
5. Some say a peppermint helps you focus. Focus itself will help calm you because you will feel more in control.
6. Dress so that you can take off a layer if it is hot in the room….or put on a sweater if it is freezing…even in summer.
7. I must go back to the necessity of being prepared. It is quite terrifying if you are not….so study and get your questions answered before the test.
Remember, this website exists to help you get all your questions answered and to feel more confident in your math. Leave a comment or shoot me an email with your question and I’ll make a complimentary video answer for you.