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Salisbury University BW
A Maryland University of National Distinction
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Counseling Center
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The Day of the Exam

1.   Psych yourself up--be confident!

2.   In the morning:

  • Set an alarm with enough time to get to the exam without worrying, then set it 1/2 to 3/4 hour earlier.
  • Have the proper materials:
    • 2 pencils and 2 similar pens.
    • Eraser.
    • Blue Books (if necessary).
    • Calculator (if necessary) & spare battery.
    • Any books or notes that are allowed.
      • Put bookmarks at important pages.
      • Keep list on inside front cover of pages of important tables, etc.
  • Glance over your notes.
  • Relax on campus immediately before the test, perhaps with the newspaper and a cup of coffee.
  • Avoid conversations about the subject matter--it can throw you off balance.
  • Don't study the last hour before the test.
  • Eat something light to give you energy and to keep your stomach from annoying you as well as others.

3.  Get to the exam room early enough to:

  • Get a good seat.
    • Blackboard is in view.
    • Clock is in view.
    • Light is okay.
    • Distracting friends are not near you.
  • Glance over your notes one last time (optional -- if anxiety increases, avoid this).
  • Relax for a second before starting. Practice slow, deep breathing.

4.  How to handle test anxiety.

  • It's natural--accept it.
  • Some anxiety is good for motivation.
  • If you have too much anxiety. Take your mind off of self-defeating thoughts. For example:
    • Before the test begins:
      • Picture your summary notes and rehearse key concepts and terms in your mind's eye.
      • Think briefly about the relaxed aftermath.
      • Take several slow deep breaths and concentrate on relaxing your whole body.
    • During the test: (Think about the test items, not about how well you're doing).
    • If anxiety interferes regularly, schedule an appointment with the Counseling and Career Services office for relaxation training.
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