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Test-Taking Pitfalls
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  • Not getting help. Find out all the resources that are available to help you with test anxiety and test preparation. If you are experiencing severe anxiety, speak with a counselor or academic advisor at your school. See your instructor or go to the learning skills center for help. Seek out other students and form a study group. Find a tutor.
  • Not being prepared. Do your homework and go to class prepared. Start studying from the first day of class. If you keep up with the homework and reading assignments, you will be surprised at how much of the material you know when you start studying for the test!
  • Not going to class.Some students feel overwhelmed and stop going to class. Don't make this mistake! Speak with your instructor when you start to feel this way. If you go to every class, preview your chapters, review your notes, and study the material in small chunks each day, you will reduce your test anxiety and be prepared.
  • Cramming. Don't do it! Do review your material the night before the test, but don't attempt to learn new information. Squeezing several weeks of studying into one night will increase your anxiety. Start preparing at the very first class.
  • Not practicing. Practice taking sample tests. Check with your instructor to see if he or she has a file of old tests to review. Athletes, actors, and musicians rehearse for hours. Work with other students and time yourself when taking a sample test. This will increase your comfort level when answering different kinds of test questions such as essay, multiple choice, and completion.
  • A negative attitude. The attitude you bring to a test has a lot to do with your performance. Replace negative self-talk with affirmations. Practice saying to yourself: "I am well prepared and will do well on this test." Approach tests with a positive attitude and focus on doing your best!

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