Soar Above Test Anxiety

Soar Above Test Anxiety

We are committed to helping you soar. Assessing your skill level is important to ensure your success.

You may be someone who experiences test anxiety, but there are practical ways to help you manage those feelings. Let us help! CBC Counseling & Advising can assist you through the C.A.R.E. (Counseling and Advising Reaching Everyone) program to overcome obstacles that may interfere with your wellbeing or academic success. Visit our C.A.R.E. web page for more information.

Some stress during an exam can heighten your focus and help keep your energy up. It can also mean that you care about the outcome. Managing your emotions in a way that allows you to concentrate and produce the results you desire is the goal.  


  1. Approach the exam with confidence.
  2. Be well prepared and include as much self-testing in your review as possible.
  3. Focus on healthy eating, exercise and rest habits prior to testing.   
  4. Simulate the exam to better manage test anxiety.
  5. Challenge negative thoughts.
  6. Get a good night's sleep.

On Test Day

  1. Be on time. 
  2. Go to the bathroom prior to being seated.
  3. Take a break if exam permits.
  4. Anticipate some physical distress symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, feelings of hot or too cold, etc. Remain calm and take deep breaths until it passes.
  5. Sit in a location where you will be less distracted.
  6. Bring a small snack to replenish energy and help take your mind off of your anxiety.

During the Exam

  1. Read the directions and entire questions carefully.  
  2. Take a minute to organize your ideas.
  3. If you feel very anxious in the test, change positions to help you relax. Stretch your arms and legs and take a few slow deep breaths to relax. Then return where you left off.
  4. Manage your time effectively. Many exams include a countdown timer.
  5. Focus on the present, not the past or future or what other students are doing.
  6. If the exam is more difficult than you anticipated, remain positive and do your best to achieve the goal of a passing grade.
  7. Stay focused when others finish early. There's no reward for finishing first. 
  8. Proofread when finished.

After the Exam

  1. Treat yourself. Go to see a movie with a friend, grab a special drink or your favorite meal.
  2. Make a list of which strategies worked, no matter how small, as they are building blocks to success.
  3. Create a specific plan for improvement (e.g. tutoring, a study group, or workshops on the subject area). 


Students walking around CBC's Pasco campus