As a college student, you may experience a feeling of dread whenever a major exam draws near. This is normal, especially if your academic standing and prospects of graduating will depend on your scores. However, it becomes a problem when the symptoms make it more difficult for you to focus on studying.

Apart from panic attacks, test anxiety can also cause palpitations and lack of sleep. In severe cases, it can also cause students to undergo depression which can further affect their academic performance.  

For this reason, it’s still important for students to know how to cope with test anxiety and avoid the more serious emotional, mental, and social complications it may bring. If you are preparing for a major test this semester, here are a few tips to help you overcome test anxiety and secure your well-being.

1. Organize your study habits

Firstly, you need to realize that your study habits play an important role in preparing you for a big test. In this sense, you need to use proper time management strategies so you can balance out the time you spend on studying and resting. Apart from that, you also need to keep all your tools and notes organized. It helps to have separate notebooks for each subject and use apps like Trello and Evernote for taking notes, saving files, and setting reminders.  With these simple tweaks, you can maximize the time you have for studying without going through a period of burnout.

2. Learn to keep calm

Test anxiety comes with a feeling of unease which can also amplify your inability to focus. For this reason, you should know how to handle your emotions and stay focused on preparing for the test. In this case, you need to adopt techniques that can help you refocus your energy and attain peace of mind. 

There are many ways to do this but mindful meditation has to be the best option for keeping yourself composed. You can also learn deep breathing techniques or attend on-campus yoga classes. Bringing yourself to a state of calm can make it easier for you to concentrate on studying and get rid of unhealthy thoughts.

3.  Look for a study buddy

Look to your classmates and see if you can form study groups with them. One of the best benefits of this is that it gives a boost to your motivation. You can also critique each other’s answers, share insights, and give each other test drills to practice. That way, you won’t have to feel alone in bearing the pressure of preparing for a major test.

4. Get a good night’s sleep

You can never go wrong with getting the required seven to nine hours of sleep a day. Lack of sleep can do more than cause you to lose focus or doze off in the middle of a lecture or a study session. It can also affect cognitive functions such as critical thinking and memory retention. According to an article from the Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine website, REM sleep might be critical to the process of acquiring new information. 

In contrast, sleep deprivation (whether total or partial) can affect our ability to consolidate memories, make sound judgments, and analyze situations we encounter. You are better off getting ample sleep than going through an all-nighter or studying a night before a test.

5. Take the right medication

In some cases, students may find it difficult to concentrate simply because of certain physical or psychological conditions (or a mix of both). If you were diagnosed with a condition that triggers constant panic attacks, you may need to follow your physician’s orders and strictly take your medicine as advised. 

There are also a number of alternative solutions you can try out. For one, cannabis-based products can provide anxiety relief. However, you need to ask the right questions before ordering: What type of cannabis substance am I allowed to take? Can I use CBD to help me concentrate? What is THC-O, and can it boost my performance? 

According to Federal law, anyone above the age of 18 is allowed to take CBD and other cannabis-based products so long as the amount of THC doesn’t exceed 0.3% and the products are FDA approved. Be sure to purchase from reliable retailers. 

If you’re preparing for a major test, it’s common to feel fear and anxiety, but it’s possible to keep your mind and body under control. It’s just a matter of using the right techniques.