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Tis the season for tests! High school students are getting ready for mid term exams and college students are preparing for finals.  Just the word test turns our holiday season smiles to frowns. How do you prepare? How do deal with test anxiety?


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Good study habits: General preparation for tests or exams builds the test taker’s confidence.

1. Organized note-taking – color code, and fold side of paper and quiz yourself

2. Create a daily study schedule. Always do the hardest things first!

3. Curve of forgetting: Click here to read the secret to success!

4. Use a whiteboard at home to study

5. Talk out loud

6. Be aware of your learning style

7. Use mnemonic devices:  Create mental associations with material. Click here for more info.

7. Join a study group/ Get a partner

8. Eat snacks – Water and fruit will keep you alert while studying.

9. Self Questioning while studying greatly improves comprehension. Click here for more info.

10. Communicate with your teachers! Ask questions!

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Reducing Test Anxiety

1. Breathe! Relax. How many tests have you taken? You have survived them all. This is just another test. “If you’re feeling nervous when you sit down to take the test, take three slow, steady breaths. Remind yourself that you’ve been getting ready for these tests all year long.” – Ted Dorsey

2. Plan a reward for yourself when the test is done. It will be a great positive motivator.

3. Know when to stop studying. Set a time limit. Too much studying will not create retention.

4. Sleep! Get enough sleep before the test. Do not cram the night before.

5. Energize yourself the following morning with a healthy breakfast. Don’t study! Listen to music. Create a power playlist.

6. Exercise! It has been proven that just 20 minutes of exercise each day  can improve memory.

7. Use ALL the given time during the test. Don’t get nervous when students start handing in their exam.

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During the Test from Study Guides and Strategies 

  • Read the directions carefully
  • Budget your test taking time
  • Change positions to help you relax
  • If you go blank, skip the question and go on
  • If you’re taking an essay test
    and you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind
  • Don’t panic
    when students start handing in their papers. There’s no reward for finishing first
  • Snack on a peppermint candy


Feeling overwhelmed? No worries. Student Futures’s academic coach, Melanie Black has a passion for helping students in addressing all of the above. Click here for more helpful resources. Contact Student Futures today and schedule a free academic coaching consultation and learn more about how we help teens succeed. Student Futures serves middle school, high school, and college freshman students in Jacksonville, FL and surrounding areas.We want to help you succeed!

Keep smiling and reach for the stars!