11 Tips for How to Stay Calm During a Test

Taking an exam can be quite a stressful experience. Although sometimes stress can be a good thing, it may also affect your performance and let you get a bad result. Luckily, some tips can help you get over the test fright. And these tips may also be able to help you solve other stress-related problems in your life.

How to Stay Calm During a Test

1. Make Sure You're Really Prepared

In case you often feel like you've studied enough, but right before the start of your test, you realize that you might not be as ready as you have thought you are, you must change your studying techniques. 

2. Don’t Forget…

  • A couple of black pens
  • A watch (only a wrist one as smart watches are prohibited)
  • A clear pencil case (if you don't have one, a freezer bag will do just fine)

Ask your professor if anything else is needed, such as a calculator for your math exam. You can also ask if it is alright to bring a bottle of water to avoid getting dehydrated.

3. Carefully Follow All of the Given Instructions

Another way that can help you learn how to stay calm during a test is to carefully listen and follow all instructions given by your teacher. Before you start filling in your paper, take a close look at it, and read it thoroughly to avoid skipping any questions, or turning in your paper without realizing there was a back side to fill in too.

  • Read first, and write later.
  • Double check whether you are required to choose multiple answers, or just one.
  • Read the same question over and over again until you are sure that you understand it.
  • Always answer those questions that you know the answers to first, and leave the ones that you don't know for the end.

Make sure you read through the whole paper at least once before starting to fill it in. In case you have any time left to spare after you have finished doing it, reread everything you have written to check for mistakes.

4. Do Some Brisk Exercises

Exercise is a great stress reliever, so if your teacher allows students to get out of the classroom during the exam, you can walk down the school halls for a bit or jump around to get rid of the tension.

5. Breathe

If you are wondering how to stay calm during a test, well, you can do it by performing this breathing exercise a couple of times before the examination, as well as during it in case you still feel anxious. Just take a deep breath through your nose, hold it for a couple of seconds, after which you should release it through your mouth.

6. Handle Your Nerves

Don't let your anxiety get in front of you passing your exam. As long as you take a deep breath and replace negative thinking with the positive one, you will succeed!

  • Since chances are that you cannot leave your seat during the assay, you could try tapping your feet on the ground as a way to relax.
  • You can also form your hands into fists and tighten them as hard as possible before releasing gradually. This will provide you with some relief.

7. Get a Good Night's Sleep Beforehand

Make sure you go to bed on time the day before your exam, since good results can only be expected when you are well rested.

8. Eat Properly Before the Exam

How to stay calm during a test? Well, what you eat before the test can also have effects. If you are hungry or feel bloated during the test, you will certainly feel more stressed. Avoid eating too much or too little, but rather eat foods that have high nutritional value which can give you enough energy during the test. For example, you can eat salmon, beef and some green-leaf vegetables.

9. Stop Studying About an Hour Before the Exam

If you haven't learned what you should have in the past week, you certainly won't learn it within the hour before the exam. Instead, use this time to relax and psychologically prepare for the test.

10. Don't Talk About the Exam with Your Classmates

In case discussing the following test with your classmates makes you even more nervous, avoid doing it.

Other People’s Suggestions

''If you've given your best to learn everything that was asked to learn, the process of the exam shouldn't be as upsetting and difficult. I would also recommend you to try not to get yourself into a situation where your whole grade depends on some particular test, as this can contribute to you feeling nervous, especially if there's a possibility you could fail. However, if the subject you are getting examined in is just not your cup of tea, that's alright. Not all of us are good at everything.''

''One of the ways to get over your anxiety during a test is to write down that you are nervous. In fact, teachers at my school are highly recommending this technique as it helps students lift a heavy burden from their chest by telling ''someone'' how they are feeling. And that in addition lets them focus on the problem at hand, which is passing the exam.''