Reducing Stress During Testing, Part 2

Cold sweat trickling down the back…eyes losing focus…staring at the same question for eternity and feeling no closer to an answer…stuck…stalled…

Stressed.

Tests are not the only time and place we feel stress, but it is one of those times where it is critical to have the skill to reduce stress–the inability to do so will most times sabotage a test, reducing our test score. Which means we probably have to take the test again!

How do you fight stress? How can we fight our own unconscious response?

Surprisingly, there are number of things you can do to help you. Some require a little practice to master, but others work the first time!

The link below leads to a page at www.masterthetoeic.com which talks about a simple and easy method to center oneself quickly and efficiently. But here are some others:

1) Right before the test, have a half-shot of alcohol (Bailey’s Irish Cream is best!) This helps calm pre-test nerves.

2) If you are addicted a caffeine-heavy drink (coffee or tea) in the morning, on the morning of the test drink only half as much as you normally do. Too much caffeine will likely cause you to crash somewhere right in the middle of the test, and too little caffeine will probably cause you to have a slight headache (due to your addiction!).

3) During the test, look up from the page or screen to a place in the distance, as far from you as you can. This will help with eye strain and also be a little mental “mini-break”.

4) Before beginning the test, have a plan to do something fun AFTER the test. During the test when things feel bad, remind yourself that after its all done you’re going out with your friends to sing Karaoke or dance or bungee-jump off bridges. Just knowing that there is a positive experience waiting for you at the end of the test will help you get through it a little easier.

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