By Audrey Roche

Tests are stressful for most people. Who isn’t nervous when you’re being tested on something you learned just a couple days ago? However, according to Healthline, for as many as 40% of students the normal stress around test-taking is amplified. Having this anxiety can affect their test-taking ability negatively.

Luckily for anyone who is a little too stressed for your next test, I’ve created a list of some things you can do to combat it!


  1. Study study study! – this one is kind of self explanatory, but really important. The more you study for a test the more confident you are in your knowledge, so the less anxiety you will have.
  2. Look over the entire test before you jump right in- This can help alleviate some of the stress of not knowing how long it will take you.
  3. Take deep breaths – I know this sounds cliche, trust me. The first time I was told this I brushed it off. I mean, who has the time to take deep breaths during a test? But believe it or not it actually helps way more then you might think. It calms you down and allows you to notice things your panicked brain might have missed. This is by far the most useful way to combat anxiety for me. I like to take deep breaths at the beginning of the test and the end of each section. This way you can start with a clear mind!
  4. Find a calming phrase – Starting to panic because you aren’t quite sure that’s the right person, or the number on your calculator looks really sketchy? A positive phrase helps you avoid going down an anxiety hole. Repeat it to boost confidence, and keep away negative thoughts. The phrase I tend to float to is “I have studied and prepared for this test, so I know what I am doing”. Some other good ones are, “One bad test grade isn’t going to ruin everything” and “I am going to do the best I can do”. I recommend finding which one works best for you.
  5. Create a good relationship with the clock – For some, a clock is really helpful because it helps them plan out their time, and gives them a sense of control. For others, a clock during a test can be a ticking bomb. You probably know which one you are, so plan accordingly! If you are someone who gets nervous with clocks make sure to check the time every so often as to keep you on track, but avoid checking the clock obsessively. It’s always good to ask the proctor or teacher to announce halftime, and 10/5 minutes left if they don’t already do so.


It’s really hard to get rid of this anxiety entirely, but there are many things that you can do to help alleviate some of it. I hope this list can help some of you nervously anticipating your next exams!