Tips for Combating Test Anxiety

Fall semester has begun!

Welcome back students (faculty, and staff)! A new semester is an exciting time; new classes, new opportunities, and new exams!

At ProctorFree we believe that a stress free exam experience for students is extremely crucial to success. Our main goal is to protect the integrity of exams while simultaneously keeping students stress free.

Kathryn Wallace, at the Huffington Post, wrote the awesome article “Stress Relief Tips from US Navy SEALS” . Collaborating with Wallace’s article, we created our own stress relief tips for students during online exams.

  • Prep for Battle

Similar to how Navy SEALS spend hours mentally preparing themselves before leaping into action, students should do the same. To “prep for battle” aka “prep before an online exam” obviously studying is essential; however, don’t forget to get your mindset at ease. Make sure your resources are available. Double check the internet connection at the place where you are taking your exam in advance. Have your battery charger for your laptop/computer within reach. If you are using a calculator, make sure that calculator works. Other items that you may need, bring them. Even if you don’t use them at least they are there. Ensuring you have your resources gathered, you will be properly prepped, and your mindset will be engaged for your exam.

  • Talk Yourself Up

The mind is super powerful. Just ask a Navy SEAL; a positive mindset is extremely important. Going into an exam with negative thoughts will put a damper on your mood, and possibly your grade. Go into it like a warrior, like a SEAL. When you feel like an exam is kicking your b-u-t-t, give yourself a mini pep talk. If needed, leave a question, and then go back to it later. Trust your first instinct. But block out the negative thoughts. Keeping yourself positive will give you the strength to persevere  and push through.

Learn from our Director Of Partner Relations, Jeffrey Kaplan, who has perfected the “talk yourself up” technique. Before an important meeting, Jeffrey will do power poses, chant positive mantras, and even participate in a little salsa. This enhances his performance, and it keeps the energy positive throughout the day.

Check out the “Motivation Tips” article we tweeted. The tips will have you feeling positive, and ready to conquer any exam.

  • Embrace The Suck

The late and great Thomas Edison once said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Listen to Edison, and don’t give up. Exams are hard. Sometimes it feels like no matter how much you studied, you still wouldn’t be prepared enough. Sometimes you just have to embrace the suck. Navy SEALS embrace it, so follow their lead. Take a break to gather your thoughts, and reconvene. Embrace the exam, and once it’s over, learn from your mistakes. You can focus on what you need to work on, and you’ll have a better grasp on future exams.

  • Take A Deep Breath

The SEALS practice 4 x 4 X 4 breathing, where they inhale deeply for four counts, then exhale for four counts, and try to repeat the cycle for four minutes several times a day. The ProctorFree team tried this breathing technique before one of our morning motivational meetings, and results were very favorable. “I definitely felt more focused with this breathing,” said Lee, our Senior Developer. If the SEALS use it to feel calmer in the most chaos of settings, then it’s sure to help during an exam.

Let us know if you use any of these tips, separately or together. Or if you have any of your own stress relief techniques !