Test Anxiety – Your Secret Getaway

A secret getaway at the beach.
Picturing your secret getaway can alleviate test stress.

Test anxiety is a reality for many students, and knowing how to deal with it can make a big difference in test scores. Choosing a secret getaway to momentarily escape the test reality may be something that works for you.

Before test anxiety hits, ask yourself where you would go if you could go anywhere in the world. Choose a scene that is peaceful, one that provides an escape from reality. No one else needs to know about this secret getaway. In fact, it may be best to keep the idea to yourself. By keeping the idea of your secret getaway to yourself, you not only get to enjoy the escape, but you also get the slight adrenaline rush of having something secret and exciting to look forward to.

If you suffer from test anxiety, take a few moments during practice tests to calm yourself by picturing your secret getaway. When you feel your muscles tense and experience the panic that comes from not knowing an answer or when you are stressed about time limits imposed upon test takers, taking a few, very short seconds to picture your secret getaway may be all you need to calm nerves and proceed with confidence.

Not practicing beforehand may increase test anxiety so be sure to have practiced using your secret getaway method ahead of time. Doing so will allow you to time your getaway accurately so that you do not escape too long or increase anxiety by not feeling comfortable with this method. Remember, the actual test date is no time to try something new.

During the actual exam, use this method when you feel the panic of test anxiety creep up. Briefly close your eyes and take yourself to your secret getaway place. Breath deeply. Stretch tense muscles. Allow the atmosphere of the getaway sink into your bones. A moment or two is all you can afford to take so don’t get lost there, but just as after the perfect vacation, you should return feeling a bit more refreshed and ready to tackle what lies ahead.

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