10 ways to calm test-taking nerves

Student takes final exam.

Student takes final exam.

Trinity DiLorenzo, Staff Writer

With final exams on the horizon, stress levels are at an all-time high among students. Many students have no idea how to help calm their nerves and help relieve stress and anxiety. Below are some ways that help stress and anxiety levels brought on by testing. 

Establish a consistent pretest routine: Learn what works better for you and follow those steps each time you get ready to take a test. It can ease your stress levels and help ensure that you are well-prepared. 

Learn relaxation techniques: To help stay calm and confident right before and during a test, perform relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, relaxing your muscles one at a time, and closing your eyes to imagine a positive outcome. 

Don’t forget to eat and drink: Your brain needs fuel to function. Eat a healthy breakfast on the day of the test. Also, try to avoid sugary drinks and caffeine because it can increase anxiety. 

Get plenty of sleep: Sleep is directly related to academic performance. Teenagers especially need to get a regular and solid sleep schedule. 

Have a positive mental attitude: Come up with a morale-boosting mantra like “I can do this” or “I worked hard and deserve this”.

Time management: Creating flexible schedules, to-do lists, rewards for completing tasks, scheduling personal time, and avoiding external stressors can help reduce anxiety. 

Get to the test site early: Running late can cause more anxiety. Get to the testing site a little early. Take a walk around to help relieve any anxiety that you have. Moving your body can help remove some of that nervous energy and get your blood flowing.

Start with what you know: You never have to start with the first question. Start with the ones you know. Avoid wasting time trying to answer a question you don’t know the answer to. Go ahead and skip it. You can return to that question when you have extra time. 

Dress comfortably: With dressing appropriately, wear something that makes you comfortable and allows you to relax. 

Learn to tune out distractions: Staying focused during your exam is essential to managing test anxiety. Learning to tune out distractions takes time to master. Practicing during assignments/practice tests can help a lot. 

These are some suggestions to help students with stress and anxiety. Students are different when it comes to taking tests. Doing your research based on your test-taking anxiety would be more beneficial to you. 

We want to wish everyone good luck on their upcoming finals and understand that you got this! Your hard work will pay off!