5 Ways To Reduce Test Anxiety


If you are full of anxiety come exam time, you are not alone.  Up to 40% of medical students report feeling test anxiety that has affected their scores.  Here are five simple tips to help you keep your cool come exam day.

  1. Prepare Early 

Feeling anxious is understandable if you don’t feel you have a good grasp of the material being tested.  Before test day, make sure you have given yourself ample time to learn the material.  You can also consider taking an organized course and can find one in your area quickly by searching for USMLE program Chicago IL.

  1. Eat a Good Breakfast

Skipping a meal might tempt you to allow for a few more minutes of study time.  Do your brain a favor by eating a balanced meal. You’ll be thankful you’ve given your brain the fuel it needs to answer those tough questions.

  1. Go to Bed Early

A full night’s rest will help you learn more than 8 hours of cramming.  The time off of studying helps your brain store what you learned in your brain, making it easier for you to recall come exam time.

  1. Practice Deep Breathing

Anxiety increases your heart and respiratory rate.  Practicing deep breathing helps to slow down your heart rate.  Focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth as slowly as is comfortable. Once your vital signs are back to normal, your anxiety will ease.

  1. Focus Only On Yourself

Take the exam at your own pace. Don’t worry about the other students around you or allow them to make you feel like your pace is wrong.  Consider wearing earplugs to help you focus if you find that ambient noises are too distracting.

It’s normal to feel a little anxious before a big exam.  If you follow these tips, your anxiety won’t overwhelm you on exam day.