Ask Ally

Ally G

Question: I get so nervous about tests… Am I alone? What are good tips for studying and fighting test anxiety?
Shivering. Hands shaking. Heart beating fast. Lump in the throat. Second guessing. Teeth hurting. Hand itchiness. Stomach aches. Headaches.
– Real students, real symptoms of test anxiety. Hello fellow student. Let’s start this off by addressing the fact that you are not alone! Many deal with test anxiety – and those who have testing anxiety know these dreaded feelings. So, I made a little test for you. Don’t worry, you’ll do great:

Common Essay Questions – 500 words or more. (10 points)
1. “Did I study enough?”
2. “Oh my word, I didn’t study for this question!!”
3. “I didn’t get enough sleep last night, how much coffee is too much?” (Wiggy eyes and jittery
movements).
4. “Why is that clock so loud… WILL SOMEBODY TAKE THE BATTERIES OUT?!”

Midterms are right around the corner (yes, writing that sentence makes me anxious, too) but that does not mean anxiety has to come knocking on your door. If you get anxious before tests, try practicing these tips to fight off those nagging nerves!

Question One – Night before the test, what are you doing? (1 point)
A) Studying my brains out. My eyelids are held open with tape.
B) Studying by myself, and sometimes playing studying games with my friends and other classmates!
C) There’s a test tomorrow…?
Answer is B.

Hopefully you picked B (not that you’re being graded, hehe). Who said studying had to be an isolated experience? There’s got to be another student in class who cares just as much as you do, and wants to ace the test too!

If you’re more of a solo-studier, grab a cup of hot chocolate/your favorite drink, and make studying work for you. Setting time to prepare for a test can boost confidence levels, because you know that you put in the work to succeed.

Smart Studying Tips:
These tips were provided by Science News for Students, an award-winning online publication dedicated to helping all learners.
– Stop reading parts of textbooks over and over, and instead answer practice questions! It will make the concepts stick in your mind better.
– Really want to see if you are studying right? Try quizzing yourself.
– Visual aids help with memory and understanding! When writing notes, put in some pictures with the notes.
– Don’t cram on the last day, it will likely overwhelm your brain!
– Print out a calendar if you don’t already have one, and mark the days where you think you should study. Make a plan and stick with it! (Science News for Students).

Question 2 – How much do you care about tests? (1 point)
A) SO much. Testing is LIFE, and for life to go ON, this test must be executed PERFECTLY. ALKJDFAKJDAFLK (keyboard swipe)
B) What tests? There are tests in college?!
C) I do care about how well I perform and study accordingly, but I know that there’s more to life than these tests. I want to do well on the tests, but for my own personal goals.
Answer is C.

Tests are important, but try not to obsess over them. Your health should always be a priority, so before midterms, remember and value your health. Wash your hair. Eat well and healthy. Sleep.
You are so much more than a grade. You are smart with or without the grade. Instead of putting tests in a life-or-death category, look at it from a different perspective. Try making it your own personal
goal to do your best.

Take control of the situation, boss the test around instead of letting it boss you! You contain
multitudes, and after studying your best, say to that computer screen or sheet of paper,
“BRING IT ON!” Teachers may give you the death glare, but you let that test know that you are not afraid of the ink on the page.

Question 3: While taking the test, how do you handle nerves? (100 points)
A) I stare at the question like a deer in headlights. Faint echoes of answers ring through my head, but for some reason, I just can’t remember… What’s the question again?
B) If I don’t know the answer right away, I skip it and go back later. Something will trigger my memory and I will remember!
C) I always pick the “none of these answers are correct” option. It’s bound to work for at least five questions.
Answer is B.

Okay, it’s go-time. You are taking the test, you studied your best, but sometimes questions can catch students off guard. Here are some helpful test taking tips!
TESTING STRATEGIES –

Intelligent is a business based in Seattle that is focused on researching information that helps college students make “smart choices simple.”

Provided by Intelligent:
– Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask the professor for clarification if needed.
– Take a look over the entire test at the beginning. If there are parts of the test (i.e. essay questions), that have higher value, focus on those.
– Read. The. Questions. Carefully. Sometimes what may seem like a normal question can be a trick question..
– If there are easy questions you can quickly answer first, do so.
– “Look for key words in essay questions,” and make a brief outline that gives you a game plan before you start answering (Intelligent).

Other Helpful Tips:
– Try underlining key parts of the question, this may help you understand trickier problems.
– Process of elimination helps with multiple choice questions.

Word Bank of Quick Tips
(1) Breathing is your friend. Oxygen makes you smart!
(2) Don’t “fight” off the nerves. Acknowledge them, and let them come and go as they please. Pretend like they are that one person who you don’t really want to talk to, but you don’t want to be rude either. Say hello, give them a warm smile, but still say goodbye at the end.
(3) Have time for yourself. Don’t forget to have a sense of humor and watch something funny after studying.
(4) Study, but study smart! Instead of an all night cram, study in increments (Example: 2 hours every day for a week).

Food for Thought
These tips are provided by Winward Academy, an award winning e-learning platform. Switch Coffee for water (drink A LOT of water every day). Eat breakfast and include protein. Oatmeal, eggs, yogurt, fruits, toast are smart options (Winward Academy)