There is nothing more frustrating and discouraging than poor performance when taking a test that you have gone to great lengths studying and preparing for.

Test anxiety is very common, and while nervousness is a normal reaction to stress, for some people, the overproduction of adrenaline makes it very difficult for them to focus or concentrate while taking a test. Whether you are a high school student learning how to study efficiently and do your best on exams, or a college student working on an advanced degree, test anxiety can get in the way of performing the way you know you should.

Using hypnotherapy to alleviate test taking anxiety has helped countless students to achieve great results with their most important exams. There are some important steps you can take to help yourself in the process. I work with many students and have found that they are not practicing many of these strategies that can help them succeed.

Test Anxiety Tips:

1. Be prepared
This seems obvious, if you feel you have prepared adequately, you will feel more confident taking the test. This means taking plenty of time as far in advance as possible to study the materials for the test. It may mean getting extra help for material that is difficult for you.

2. Get a good night sleep
As a student, it is always important to get enough sleep. This can be difficult especially as a college student because of working and having an active social life. The problem is that cramming for tests the night before typically doesn’t pay off as your brain can only retain a certain amount of information in a short period. The other big problem with not enough sleep the night before a test is that your brain doesn’t function nearly as well, even if you did prepare and know the information.

3. Nutrition
What you eat is so much more important than you might think, especially when it comes to brain function in high stress situations. If you are someone who experiences high anxiety with test taking, it is very important that you eat food with certain nutrients. Protein is essential for clear thinking. Protein helps maintain stable blood sugar. This is very important before a test because when blood sugar drops, it can cause many unpleasant physical symptoms. Sometimes it can feel like a panic attack when really it is a blood sugar drop due to protein deficiency. Help yourself by eating plenty of protein in the days leading up to a big test and especially the day of the test.

4. Get to the class or testing site early
This is mostly about preparation, get everything you need ready the night before so that you have time to eat, and get yourself to the class with time to spare. Being late is always stressful and adds to your anxiety for no reason.

5. Have a positive attitude
This may be the area that is most difficult, hypnotherapy can help if you are someone who feels stuck in old ideas about your test taking abilities. It is important to think and speak in a positive way about the future and what you are expecting. It is also important to focus on your breathing. Slow deep breathing helps to oxygenate your brain and help you to feel calmer and more relaxed. Remember that a little anxiety is very normal when doing something important that matters to you. Don’t be too hard on yourself for feeling a bit anxious.

6. Slow down
Read the test material very carefully, read the directions thoroughly and all of the answers before making a choice.

7. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing
Focus only on yourself during a test. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow anyone else is going. Find the right pace for you, keep track of the time for yourself and if there is time at the end, you can go back to check your work.

If you are someone who follows these guidelines and still struggles with test anxiety, you are not alone. It has nothing to do with intelligence. It has to do with fear, and memories of problems taking tests in the past.

Hypnotherapy can help to change those thought patterns so that you can recall the information you have studied and do well on your test.