How to Calm Yourself Down Before A Test

If you are anything like me, tests are the ultimate source of anxiety. You study for hours on end, memorizing the information,  running through note-cards, just hoping that your brain can somehow retain this ridiculous amount of information. And even when you're positive you know the material, you go into the test, write your name on the paper, and boom. All information is gone. You blank. You freak out. You guess B for every question and hope you're at least 25% right.
Tests have been my main source of anxiety for years. That's why I have come up with a "pre-test routine" to keep myself calm and positive throughout the entire experience. And today, I'm here to share that routine with you.


How to Calm Yourself Down Before a Test


1. DO NOT CRAM

If you retain anything at all from this post, let it be this. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT wait until the night before to start studying. This is, scientifically, a horrible way to study, and will result in the loss of a lot of important information that you need to pass this test. Instead, study for a couple of hours or so every day during the week before the test. The night before, RELAX. Put on your favorite show, take a bath (or a hot shower if you're in college like me), go to sleep at a reasonable hour, and remember that you got this. If you wait until now to start studying, you are not making your memory any better. In fact, you're making it worse. Just please, I beg of you, don't study five hours the night before. You will thank yourself later

2. GO TO SLEEP

This, my friends, is key. If you have a massively important test, and you stay up the night before until 4 am worrying about it, this will make the test experience MISERABLE. I am speaking from first-hand experience here. It will fry your brain, make you exhausted, keep you on edge for the entire day, and, obviously, it will make remembering test material even more difficulGet at least 7 hours of sleep, but no more than 10, and you will feel refreshed and ready to take on the test.

3. EAT BREAKFAST

I know, I know. You hear it every single year the day before a standardized test. "Make sure to bring a #2 pencil and eat breakfast." Although the #2 pencil part might not be particularly important for your test, depending on the test, they weren't lying about breakfast. It is, without a doubt, the most important meal of the day. You need fuel to be able to concentrate and keep you going throughout the test. I'm not talking 12 doughtnut holes and a coffee the size of your head (I'm guilty of the coffee part, I'll admit), but an actual healthy breakfast. Some cereal, an orange, an apple, a glass of milk, a couple cereal bars, anything. Just please don't skip breakfast. It'll make the tes, and the rest of the day, so much harder.

4. MEDITATION

This has been my lifesaver in terms of tests and big events that I'm prone to get nervous before. Just taking a few minutes to relax, unwind, and assure yourself through the power of silence (or words, or binural frequencies, or however you choose to meditate) that you got this. Whether it's in your car, before you leave for school, or in the classroom before the test starts, give yourself a couple of minutes to mediate in silence or with some words of encouragement from a mediation app (try the Stop, Breathe, Think and Headspace apps. I use those two the most, and they're wonderful). If they are available to you, you could also try binural frequencies. The app Zen has a collection of these, each with a specific purpose. Before I took my first ever college exam, I listened to a couple of these, and it made a huge difference in my performance and my ability to concentrate.

5. JUST BREATHE

This phrase is my motto for a reason. It applies to nearly every high stress situation you coulf encounter. Just stop for a few minutes, and take a few deep breaths. It makes a huge difference. I promise.

Now go rock that test!

Have a lovely day,

Hannah

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