Test Anxiety Guide

Test Anxiety GuideTest anxiety for the ACT and SAT is a very real experience for a great number of students.  Unfortunately, you are given very  few tools to handle it – you are just expected to take the test, and somehow relax, even though you’ve never taken a test with stakes this high.  Since this is such a widespread phenomenon, I am going to share with you some tried-and-true ways of addressing test anxiety that I have used with students over the past few years with a great deal of success.  If you have truly severe anxiety, please seek professional help.  I am not a psychologist, and none of what follows should be construed as psychological advice – simply some strategic tips. 

Know that you are not alone – test anxiety is not a topic that people want to openly discuss.  As a test preparation instructor, I have known students to have panic attacks during the test, cry for the duration of a 1.5 hour tutoring session because they are so stressed out, feel tremendous pressure from their parents and themselves, and even become so freaked out about the test that they run out of the test a few minutes after it begins.  It is neither stupid nor silly to have some fear about a test that does have a significant impact on your chances for admission to college.  What does NOT make sense is to pretend you are not going to have any worries when you take the test, and do nothing to prepare for it ahead of time—that is a recipe for disaster. 

To help you get your head out of the sand and realistically prepare for what you face on test day, read my four part guide to test anxiety:


(1) Roots of Test Anxiety


(2) How Test Anxiety Affects your Test Taking


(3) Things to Think about to Combat Test Anxiety


(4) More Things to Think about to Combat Test Anxiety

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