Students in the UT Austin KAUST Foundation Year Program have been busy taking SAT and TOEFL exams this month. To prepare for the exams, they attended a Test Preparation and Test Anxiety Workshop developed by the UT Sanger Learning Center. Here are some tips they found most helpful:
- Don’t cram. Make a study schedule. If you cram, you may feel unprepared and this could cause test anxiety. In order to prevent anxiety, create a study schedule starting a week or two before the exam and stick to it. Make a study guide by compiling class notes, quizzes, exams and reading notes to review leading up to the exam.
- Prepare to succeed. Before the exam, get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy meal or snack. (Your brain needs food too!) Also, try to maintain your normal routine so your body and mind can focus on handling the test, instead of adjusting to a sudden change.
- During the exam, focus on thinking. Essentially, taking a test is a thinking task. Many times when we take a test, we think about doing better than others, making our parents proud, or we worry about our grade. Instead of thinking about the outcome, focus on thinking through the questions and answering the best that you can.
- Turn your negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Many times that ‘little voice in your head’ can be abusive at times and scold you for making a mistake. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, remind yourself that you are doing your best. If you aren’t happy with the result, seek help and study harder next time.
- If you fail an exam, don’t panic. Make a plan to fix it! If you receive a low score on an exam, rework the questions you missed and try to figure out what you did wrong so you can learn from your mistakes. Visit your professor during his or her office hours for extra help as well. You can also visit the Sanger Learning Center to schedule a tutoring session to receive additional support.
Want more test-taking or test anxiety resources? Check out the Sanger Learning Center website at http://www.utexas.edu/ugs/slc to find information on free workshops and tutoring resources.