Avoiding Test-Freak-Out

So you have a test today. You’ve studied,  you’ve been to office hours, you’ve met with a tutor, but you’re still freaking out. How do you just calm down, relax, and stay confident?

Try these basic guidelines:

  1. Get a good night of sleep the night before and try to be in bed early. In other words, no cramming until 3:00am and no late-night TV or Internet. That way you can wake up a little early and not have to rush around because you slept through your alarm.
  2. Eat something! Being tired and hungry will only stress you out more because you won’t be thinking clearly. Try to avoid fatty or sugary foods and don’t overdo it with caffeine. Too much caffeine will leave you jittery and unfocused. Instead, eat something healthy, walk to class energetically, and drink plenty of water.
  3. Pack everything you need the night before. Then you won’t have to run around frantically in the morning looking for a pen or your calculator.
  4. Breathe. Think Positive thoughts. Take three deep breaths, and let all of your hard work studying pay off.
  5. If you start to get anxious during the test, take three deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, give yourself a moment to regain your thoughts, and then move on.
  6. Check out the Counseling Center’s new website called “Relax Online,” which has some excellent relaxation and stress reduction strategies.

For more strategies on reducing test stress and anxiety, take a workshop: (www.loyola.edu/department/thestudy/studyskills/workshops).

If you have serious anxiety, you might also want to check out the Counseling Center’s services at:



Photo Credit: rentscouter.com

One thought on “Avoiding Test-Freak-Out

  1. Being mindful what is in your diet prior to an exam is very important. Many college students will spend all night studying, living off of junk food, take out, and caffeinated beverages. Healthier foods such as fruits and whole grains provide a much better (and sustainable) source of energy which helps a student avoid a “sugar crash” and stay better focused on the exam.

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