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test anxiety

I have horrible text anxiety. I study and quiz myself and do extremly well. I even have others quiz me and I know the material. But when it comes time to sit in the class and the teacher says clear your desks and then puts a time limit and the room gets quiet and i can here people writing away and i always draw a blank. No matter how prepared i feel I always tend to blank and then stress myself out even more and end up rambling.

Anyone else having a problem like this?

I get like this as well..... I even try the relaxation techniques.. lol .. but it always fails!!

Try this...if you can write on the test or use a scrap sheet of paper... write down what you know about each question. If it has to do with a particular disease or includes vitals signs, analyze the question by writing down what you know. For example, you know that dyspnea is trouble breathing, write that down and let that info help you to answer the question. That's what helps me. Good luck! And remember, if you allow yourself to get overwhelmed, you are setting yourself up to do poorly. Change what you can control, everything else is not in your grasp.

This is me too! And makes me SO angry because I know the material but can't even concentrate well enough to read the directions for the quizzes and tests, much less the questions. I had a mild case in "regular" classes like A&P and Micro, but nothing like the core nursing classes. Things that I have been trying and seem to have some effect:

1. Wear earplugs. Can't say this enough. I'm like you and hear every single pencil mark, mouse click, etc. My own heartbeat is deafening. Also, something about that pressure on your ears gives you a different sensory stim that keeps your mind off the anxiety some.

2. Ask for a seat in the front/corner......where you see hardly any people. The key is to avoid movements that you'll catch out of the corner of your eye. Have a window with a view of the sky and trees? Try to get it.

3. Practice abdominal/relaxation breathing, you tube or google for demos. Also, muscle tension/relaxation therapy.

4. Tell yourself it doesn't matter if you bomb the test and never become a nurse. No one will die. You are still on this side of the top soil and you can do something else. Oh well. (SO SO hard to do, but really, if you can let it go, it helps.) I'm still working on this one. If we fail, we get our life back, right? LOL!

5. Do the math problems first. But only if it's therapeutic for you. Math helps me focus and brings me down a peg.

Do you get anxiety when you study as well? I do. That's why I'm on here today. I was studying and my heart rate started going just thinking about how I hope I'm not missing some material or concept or random fact I need to know. Then the dizziness set in. I immediately stopped and came to take a break. I'm going to make some chamomile tea now.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma.

Here are a few tips that have conquers my test anxiety:

Breathing techniques before starting the test. When I enter a room, I give myself enough time that I will be there for the while duration, so I can give myself time to use meditation to clear my mind if I get slammed with anxiety.

LOOK at what the question is asking me before I look at the appropriate answer. If it's a paper test, I highlight key words and scenarios. For example, Pt has new onset chest pain...if the question is asking me what action I must do, I'm looking for a nursing intervention. If it is asking to anticipate what a doctor is going to order, I'm looking for specific meds, lab work, etc. If its select all that apply (SATA), you are looking for facts of the scenario...like chest pain protocol...MONA comes to mind, and if that is the option, I'm selecting those options...people refer to SATA as the true/false questions.

When looking at test questions, I use guided imagery in the scenario. I think about if I am the nurse, what is going to be my best action.

Whenever I hear someone get up, I stop taking the test to continue concentrating, or go into meditation mode to prevent distraction and TAKE my TIME. It keeps me refreshed.

These tips I used in nursing school, to pass the NCLEX PN and RN the first time (can transfer easily to the computer testing) and for my math testing during orientation at my job....passed the math test with a 100!!! Shocked myself, lol.

Hope this helps....test anxiety is a monster that can be dealt with. Seek out help with your instructors...I've had a few of my instructors give me books or suggest recommended books hat I used to study from. They each helped me in test taking, and raised my test grades.

Good Luck!!!


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