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Tips to Help Reduce Test-Taking Anxiety

There is almost nothing worse than being well-prepared for a test, but “blanking-out” due to stress when it is time to actually take the test. As students are preparing for semester exams, Western Dakota Tech offers some tips to help reduce test anxiety.

“We want to help test-taking be a little less scary for students,” said Fawn Hall, Western Dakota Tech Student Success Coach. “I have found there are some simple, but highly effective tips to help beat that evil test-taking anxiety.”

Hall suggests students give at least one of the following tips a try, but noted when combined, they can be even more effective.

  • Once you get your test, take a moment to take a deep breath and say something positive to yourself before you even look at the questions. Something positive could be, “I know these answers. I’m going to do well. I’m prepared for this.”
  • If you feel clueless on a question, place a mark next to it to know you need to come back to that question, then move on. Once you’re done with the test, go back and revisit those questions you didn’t know.
  • When there are questions you’re unsure of and have to come back to, that question might be addressed in another way on another portion of the test. Skim through the test to see if your question(s) have been “answered” in another test question.
  • If you can get to class a few minutes before the test, use this time to “brain dump”! Simply take out a piece of paper and write down everything and anything that comes to your mind and is taking up mental space. Writing it down helps release unnecessary mental clutter for things that don’t apply to the test and for things that do apply to the test, writing it down helps re-inforce your knowledge!

Hall and Western Dakota Tech wish students good luck on their upcoming exams.

To learn more about the Western Dakota Tech Student Success Center, or about Western Dakota Tech, call Fawn Hall at (605) 718-2961. You can also visit or

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