Published Oct 29, 2002
Does anyone have any tips for relieving test anxiety? I freak out b/4 an exam. I chipped a tooth grinding my teeth the other night all stressed out about a test I had today in my nursing class. Anything would be much appreciated!! Thanks so much, Rach
Rena RN 2003, RN
rach, i don't know how you study but i'm going to presume a few things in order to give you this advice.
i'm assuming that you do not "cram" for exams. that said, the night before an exam, let it go. forget about it. take a bath, read a non-nursing book, do a manicure....whatever it takes to relax. you've probably already had a week or so of studying the material so take time to breathe the night before.
the morning of the exam, get up a little earlier than normal. if you are like me, i love to sleep and this is sometimes hard. :chuckle but i've found it works for me. get up, either fix some good light breakfast at home or stop for bacon and toast (my fav) on the way to school.
get there about 45 min. early and just scan your notes or note cards. do not do any indepth studying. you will get bogged down in the specifics instead of taking in the whole picture.
when you get your test paper, fill out all pertinent information and then BREATHE!!!!!!!!!! don't look at the first question until you have taken at least 3 good deep breaths. look at the ceiling and say to yourself "i can do this."
then do it. :)
Good advice Rena,
Relax, know the material days before the exam, if you have any questions find out before the day of the exam. It is a good idea to "review" notes briefly the morning of test
When studying concentrate on just that material.
Have you tried practicing deep breathing when you get anxious? That really helps.
Other stress relievers:
If anxiety has ALWAYS been a problem, have you seen your physician? SSRIs can be helpful for chronic anxiety.
I've recently taken a stress management workshop. It has been very helpful with any kind of stress/anxiety. There's a technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation. It is wonderful! You can do it anytime, anywhere. You just tense each muscle group and hold it for 5 seconds, then relax those muscles. With practice, you can zero in on any muscles that are tense and immediately relax them. That, with some, yoga-style breathing exercises have helped me. One of the books we used is called Stress Management by Charlesworth and Nathan. See if you can find a copy in your bookstore.
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