Eight Part Series: How to Deal With Test Anxiety
Of course, reducing your anxiety is not enough to guarantee success on test day; you must also be well-prepared. For those who suffer from test anxiety, the goal should be to become so familiar with the questions on the test and the common tasks required of you that test taking becomes a matter of routine, like brushing your teeth or tying your shoes. In other words, solving test questions should become as much a matter of reacting to familiar situations as it is a matter of thinking about how to solve problems. This is why students with test anxiety probably benefit more than the average student from taking many practice tests, and under circumstances as much like the actual test as possible. The familiarity that results from repeated exposure to the testing situation not only serves to reduce anxiety itself, but it also helps to routinize your test taking so that anxiety is less likely to interfere with your test taking if it does occur.
Moreover, after several weeks of preparation you will notice improvements in your test taking performance. They may be small improvements, and there may still be much that you have to work on. But thinking about those parts of the test that you have improved on will serve to reinforce a positive attitude toward your preparation and provide a foundation for further improvement.