How to Overcome Test Anxiety

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We’ve all been through this. You spend hours upon hours studying for a test. You know you’re more than prepared to do well. But when you sit down to actually take the exam, you freeze up like water in Antarctica. It’s a terrible thing to experience paralyzing anxiety at the mere thought of taking a test, especially when pursuing a health care degree. Well, paralysis and anxiety be gone. We went to one of Concorde’s resident experts for advice. And she came up with a number of helpful tips on how to avoid the test-taking blues. Keep these helpful tips in mind while pursuing your health care degree, and you’ll be well on your way to a rewarding career.

Tips for overcoming test anxiety when pursuing a health care degree

“Most people experience test anxiety to some degree,” said Stacie Williams, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde’s campus in San Antonio, Texas. “It becomes a problem when it interferes with your test performance. There are things you can do to reduce your anxiety.” According to Williams, they are:
  • Start studying the material early and know it thoroughly. Do not cram.
  • Use tutoring if necessary.
  • Sleep well the night before the exam, and eat a good meal before the exam.
  • Get to the testing location early. If you have never been to the testing site, drive there on a day before the exam day to make sure you know where you are going.
  • Focus on your breathing. Take several deep breaths.
  • Focus on positive thoughts, such as “I can do this,” or “I’m doing the best I can.”
  • Take your time with the test. Do not compare yourself with other testers, but focus on yourself.
  • Start with questions you know the answers to. This will build your confidence. If the test is an essay exam and you go blank, just start writing and this might trigger the correct responses.
  • Know that everyone is anxious to some degree.
  • Accept that you might not know everything.
“Finally, if you need help with test anxiety, visit your Student Affairs Department,” Williams said. “They can provide assistance and resources. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, visit your Campus President for possible testing accommodations.” There you have it. Pursuing a health care degree can be a stressful experience. There’s no need to add to the stress by wigging out every time you have to take an exam. Follow these helpful tips, and you’ll find it much easier to “get in the zone” and perform to the ability for which you prepared.
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