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Do you get stressed or anxious when you have to take tests? How do you deal with it?

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Test Stress: Get Prepped
Girl reading book while sitting on floor of library

Topics on Test Stress:
A Fact of Life
Why Have Tests,
    Anyway?
Types of Tests
Under Pressure!
Get Prepped
Know What's Coming
Keep a Healthy Body
    and Mind
Get Help
Conquer "Test Day
    Panic"
Ten Terrific
    Test-TakingTips
From the Mentors
Studying is never fun-especially when there are about a zillion other things you'd rather be doing. But the plain truth is, you're a lot less likely to feel test stress if you go in confident that you've got the material down cold. In other words: be prepared for the test, and you probably won't stress out.

But that's easier said than done, right? You CAN get there by trying these solutions:

Do your daily work. As much as you can, stay on top of your daily classwork and homework every day. Don't put off assignments, and if you miss something because you were out of class, try to make it up right away. Think of your schoolwork as a long race: if you fall behind, you'll just have to work all the harder to catch up. The key is to not fall behind. By keeping up with regular lessons and assignments, you'll be absorbing all the stuff you'll need for a test.

Learn from mistakes. If you get a question wrong on a weekly quiz, or you get a poor mark on a homework assignment, don't just forget about it. Make it a point to understand WHY you got it wrong. Look up the right answer or ask your teacher for help. When the same sort of question shows up on your next test, you'll know how to tackle it.

Make studying a regular routine. Don't put off studying until the night before a test. Experts say that this sort of last minute "cramming" is a crummy way to learn. Instead, review your class material on a regular basis, and try these study helpers:

  • Make a study schedule. Set aside time every week to study, and mark it on a planner or calendar so you can manage your study time. For more on this, check out IML's advice on Time Management.

  • Start a study group. Before a test, or even every week or so, get together with classmates to talk and share notes on your lessons. Studying with friends can be surprisingly fun, and you can all benefit from one another's strong points.

  • Study your old tests. When tests come back graded, don't chuck them out. Hold on to them so you can go over the questions when you have a comprehensive test (midterm or final) coming up.

  • Try making flashcards. Make a list of facts, ideas, or skills that you've been having trouble with and put these onto flashcards. Use some of your study time to go over the flashcards until you know the material by heart.

  • Have a special study space. Find a quiet, comfortable spot to do your homework and studying. Keep away from distractions like the television, computer, and talkative family members while you're studying.
Next up, another key to beating stress: Know What's Coming.

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