Test Anxiety

If you feel that you suffer from test anxiety, check out the following suggestions and online resources, and/or make an appointment to talk to someone in Counseling and Psychological Services at (651) 962-6780.


Preparation is the best way to alleviate test anxiety. Try not to cram for your test. Your teachers and professors are right, cramming isn’t the most effective way to learn and it does promote anxiety. Try planning to study in smaller time periods throughout your semester.

Using practice tests as a study method is a way to help limit your anxiety. When studying, think about what questions might be asked on a test. Write them down and practice answering them.


Your grade on a test is only a small piece of your performance. It is not a reflection of your self worth. Your goal is to try to show as much of what you know as you can. There will be other tests.

Remember your needs

Your body and mind need nutrition, sleep, exercise, and recreation to perform. Take care of yourself and take breaks.

Test Day

Eat a good breakfast and avoid caffeine if it makes you jittery. Try to do something relaxing like taking a walk. Avoid people who generate anxiety. Arrive early for the test.

During the test

Review the entire test and read the directions. Strategize on how to use your time in a way that will allow you to best demonstrate your knowledge. Do the easiest sections first. Outline essay questions. In multiple choice questions, read all the options first, eliminate the most obvious. Wear your watch so that you can keep track of your time remaining.

Anxiety Control Tips

Take deep breaths to help you relax. Think positive thoughts like, "I am relaxed." "I am prepared." Don't worry too much about questions you can't answer. Focus on the ones you can and move on.

Other Resources