How to Overcome Test Anxiety: Tips from a Psychology Professor


As a student, exams are an inevitable part of academic life. However, for some students, the thought of taking an exam can be overwhelming. Test anxiety is a common problem that affects many students, and can lead to poor academic performance and low self-esteem. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome test anxiety and perform well on exams. In this article, we will share some tips from a psychology professor on how to overcome test anxiety.

How to Overcome Test Anxiety: Tips from a Psychology Professor

What is Test Anxiety?

Test anxiety is a psychological condition that causes students to feel intense stress and anxiety before and during exams. This anxiety can lead to physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, and nausea. Test anxiety can affect students of all ages, and can be caused by a variety of factors, including fear of failure, lack of preparation, and pressure from parents and teachers.

How to Recognize Test Anxiety?

Recognizing test anxiety is the first step in overcoming it. Here are some common signs of test anxiety:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Negative self-talk
  • Procrastination
  • Physical symptoms such as sweating, rapid heartbeat, and nausea
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Lack of confidence
  • Feeling like you are going to fail

If you experience any of these symptoms before or during an exam, you may be suffering from test anxiety.

Tips for Overcoming Test Anxiety

Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help you overcome test anxiety and perform well on exams. Here are some tips from a psychology professor:

1. Preparation is Key

One of the best ways to reduce test anxiety is to be well-prepared. This means studying regularly throughout the semester, attending class, and completing assignments on time. When you are well-prepared, you will feel more confident and less anxious on exam day.

2. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce test anxiety. These techniques can help you calm your mind and body, and reduce physical symptoms such as sweating and rapid heartbeat.

3. Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk can be a powerful tool in reducing test anxiety. Instead of telling yourself that you are going to fail, try telling yourself that you are well-prepared and capable of doing well on the exam. This positive self-talk can help boost your confidence and reduce anxiety.

4. Time Management

Poor time management can lead to procrastination and anxiety. Make sure to create a study schedule and stick to it. This will help you avoid last-minute cramming and reduce anxiety on exam day.

5. Get Enough Sleep and Exercise

Sleep and exercise are important for both physical and mental health. Make sure to get enough sleep the night before an exam, and try to exercise regularly. Exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, and improve mental clarity and focus.

6. Seek Help

If you are struggling with test anxiety, don’t be afraid to seek help. Talk to your teacher or a school counselor for support and guidance. They can provide you with resources and strategies to help you overcome test anxiety.


Test anxiety is a common problem that affects many students. However, with the right strategies and support, it is possible to overcome test anxiety and perform well on exams. Remember to be well-prepared, practice relaxation techniques, use positive self-talk, manage your time effectively, get enough sleep and exercise, and seek help when needed. By following these tips, you can reduce test anxiety and achieve academic success.


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