Coping with Test and Academic Anxiety
Coping With Test and Academic Anxiety
Today is the day for an important examination. Your skills at
taking this test will help determine how well you do. Academic
anxiety can be a significant problem affecting many dissertation
students. Many students may have physiological responses such as
a rapid heartbeat, elevated blood pressure and shallow
breathing. The body prepares itself to deal with stress by
reacting in predictable ways. Behavioral patterns may affect
your performance as well so you can focus on the task at hand.
If so, there are effective techniques that can help you.
First, it is important not to underestimate your coping skills.
Developing a calming self dialogue is helpful. Watching your
self talk is critical. The next time you find yourself listening
to that discouraging voice that is blinking like a neon sign in
your head stand up to it! Think of yourself as a close friend.
The more you imagine the best the better your life will be.
Having determined your ultimate mission of having academic
success is non-negotiable. This means that in spite of difficult
times you remain committed to obtaining your advanced degree. Be
ready to adapt. The negative thoughts may be habitual and it is
important that you develop strategic coping thoughts to keep
firmly in your mind. An example could be, "I can do this, I have
done well before on other tests". Remember to relax by seeing
yourself truthfully and that includes acknowledging and
affirming your strong qualities. Rejoice in your academic gifts
and your uniqueness. You are in control and need to trust in
your talent and your experiences. Remember what your personal
motives are for getting your degree.
Identifying the behavior that you want to change is critical.
Describe on paper the behavior you want to change. Develop
specific separate steps that can be taken to ease your anxiety.
You have the power to control your stress responses. How you
feel about yourself going into a test situation can affect your
It now becomes important to visualize your desired results. Do
not let the face of fear define you. It is important to remember
that fear is irrational. It is not based on reality. It becomes
crucial to trust yourself and have courage. Do not let the fears
keep you from doing your best and be there for yourself when the
times are difficult. The what-ifs are the children of fear. They
almost always never come true. They are a way of trying to
control an unknown future. Focusing on what is rather than what
if will keep you focused on the here and how.
Make a true commitment to change the way you react to
performance anxiety and test taking. You have within you
enormous untapped resources of talent and ability. Illuminate
the road of your personal journey toward obtaining your advanced