By Ona-Rain Morgan and Ximena Garcia
Midterms are around the corner, which means stress is piling in on all of us. On behalf of the Learning Strategies Team here at CAPS, we understand and empathize with all of the anxiety that comes with the rush of exams. It is completely normal to feel pressure and we as students have definitely experienced it as well as anyone. Test anxiety is a very real thing: according to the American Test Anxiety Association nearly 16-20% of students have high levels of test anxiety. Test Anxiety can be shown in many different ways including physical symptoms, such as: sweating, headaches, feeling faint, or even panic attacks. Feelings of anger, fear, helplessness and disappointment are common emotional responses to test anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
All of these feelings and emotions can lead to the actual problem with test anxiety, which is how you respond in the moment. Common behaviors include difficulty concentrating, thinking negatively about yourself and the test, and comparing yourself to others around you. Here are some tips on what you can do to prepare for your midterms week:
· Schedule out specific times to study for each class
· Reach out and make study groups with classmates
· Go into your professor’s office hours to ask for a general format of the exam so you know what to expect (or review the syllabus for that info!)
· Organize material for each class so that you know exactly where to find everything when you study
Don’t forget, successfully taking exams requires for you to successfully take care of yourself! Make sure you:
· Get a good night’s rest throughout the week. Do all of your studying the week before so that during exam week, you only have to do reviews and get tucked in at a healthy time.
· Eat a nutritious breakfast. Fuel your brain with the right foods in the morning so that you are ready to tackle the day!
· Take some time to de-stress. Instead of studying for as many hours as you can fit in Zimmerman, take 15 minute intervals every 45 minutes to listen to music, close your eyes or watch a quick cat video on YouTube.
Although these tips can be very helpful, we at CAPS want to stress that it is ok for you to reach out for help, especially during this stressful midterm week. CAPS offers a Test-Taking workshop that students can benefit from during these upcoming weeks. Students are also able to schedule an individual appointment with a Learning Strategist to have one-on-one time and receive helpful tips they can utilize during their studying and exams. Good luck Lobos!
Ona-Rain Morgan: CAPS Learning Strategist, Senior, business major, concentration in Human Resources
Ximena Garcia: CAPS Learning Strategist, Sophomore, Psychology major
Driscoll , Richard. “Text Anxiety.” American Test Anxieties Association, amtaa.org/.
“Test Anxiety.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, 2016, adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/children/test-anxiety.