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I have test anxiety! What should i do?


I cant seem to calm down when im taking test! I know the material but i freak out! This causes me to do bad on my test! I know im capable of the work but my confidence goes down hill and i start doubting myself! What should I do?! :crying2:

decembergrad2011, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 12 years experience.


I watch this before my nursing exams. It almost ALWAYS helps. :)

I also suggest filling out your bubble sheet for your scantron (or writing your name on your exam, however you guys do it), then closing your eyes for 30 seconds and visualizing yourself making a great grade on your exam. Whether that is you looking at a returned test with an A+, celebrating with friends, a crowd cheering you on in your scrubs with your stethoscope around your neck, etc. I prefer the last one, personally, and put myself in this interesting scenario of running a relay race, accepting a pen light like a baton from a faceless nursing student, then running around the track and crossing the finish line, the crowd cheering my name.

It always makes me smile. Also, there is evidence that illustrates that feeling confident leads to higher test scores, so regardless of how nervous you feel during the test, just keep telling yourself you know the material, you've studied, and you are going to be just fine. If at any point you're feeling overwhelmed during the exam, close your eyes and bring back your feel good image.

I'd also consider the option that if you're not feeling prepared, you may need to take out more time to study, especially if you're not already studying daily. Doing 15 minutes of review each day even when you don't have an exam for three weeks keeps you engaged with the material and ultimately helps you to grasp it a lot better.

Good luck!