Beating the Test Monsters

Posted on May 02 2013

You’ve studied for the test with the goal of acing it. However, when you opened your computer, signed in for the online high school test and girded yourself up to answer the questions. Then worries start to crop up in your mind and your mind becomes a complete blank.

For virtual high schools, one of the important measures of your learning would be the online tests. It is absolutely normal to have a few “butterflies in the stomach” when you sit a test. However, when the anxiety you feel starts to considerably affect your test scores, there are some things you can do to calm the anxiety and beat the test monsters.

The “Growth of the Test Monsters”

Test anxiety can trigger fear, frustration and uncertainty and result in the inability to remember what you already know or studied about. These negative emotions can affect your ability to remember what you know and learned, as well as your ability to understand, analyze and think logically. Researchers say that this is because the negative emotions cause brain activity to go out of sync.

Not only can it have a negative impact on one’s test results, it can also have far-reaching results on one’s self confidence and health, in general. According to a study conducted by the Institute of HeartMath and Claremont Graduate University, over 60% of high school students fight test monsters and close to 30% see drops in test performance because of the test anxiety.

Here are some of the reasons that make the “test monsters” rear their ugly head:

  • Poor test performance in the past. Wanting to do well in a recent test with the knowledge of poor test results in the past can add pressure to you and cause you to think negatively about the test you are going to take.
  • Low self-esteem or self-confidence. Thinking “I will tank in this test” is most likely to make you do poorly. Lack of confidence can cause a vicious cycle, where your past poor performance can affect your current test performance and so on.
  • Lack of preparation. If you failed to prepare for the test (or feel that you haven’t studied as much as you should), this could also be another negative factor. Frantically cramming for a test can pack on the anxiety you already feel.
  • Other stressors in the environment. A disorganized study space, pressures from family or work and other stressors can also affect how you perform in the test.

Beating the Test Monsters

The pressure to perform well in tests, and consequently, get good grades and built a solid foundation for a future career is to be expected. What is important is being able to deal with any anxiety you are feeling so that you do well as you earn your high school diploma online.

Here are some tips to win over your fears and ace that virtual high school test:

  • Love yourself. While negative emotions cause neural activity to go haywire, positive emotions such as appreciation can do promote the harmonious function of the brain. Be your own cheerleader. Sometimes, we say negative things to ourselves. Be more proactive and aware of your self-dialogue. Encourage and affirm yourself the way you would encourage your friends. Remember, you are more than your test grade! At the end of the day, it’s only a test! Some anxiety can be traced by one linking his value to his test performance. Tests are important but that’s not the end-all and be all of who you are.
  • Relax. Find a relaxation technique that works for you. Take slow, deep breaths. Imagine you are an ice cube slowly melting. You can start by imagining your feet and fingers melting and slowly work your way to your legs and arms and then to your neck and head. You can also have a “mental slideshow” of pictures that relax you (such as a scene at the beach, your day at the spa and so on). You can also get a hobby or exercise regimen. Better yet, you can visualize yourself finishing the test.
  • Enjoy. You should also have some fun to help relax you. The night before the test, play a favorite sport, go bowling with your friends, watch a movie or do something that you enjoy with people you love.
  • Prepare your body. Having sufficient rest before the test can provide you with the stamina you need to concentrate. Get a good night’s sleep the night before the test. Get a nice meal – not too heavy or too light. Stock up of fruits and vegetables while avoiding junk foods and processed meats.
  • Be prepared. Develop good study habits that include managing your time wisely (so that you are able to study ahead of time) and being organized with your study materials. Look at the coverage of the test and read up on the topics.
  • Take the test with confidence. When you take the test, if you can, scan its entirety to you know how to budget your time. Read the instructions carefully. If your mind goes blank on a test question, you can skip that question and go on to questions that you can answer to help build your confidence. For essay-type questions, have a mental outline of what you are going to write. If you have extra time, you can go through your answers.

After you finish your test, you can give yourself a pat on your back as test by test, you get on your way towards earning your high school diploma online!