Top Ten Ways To Reduce Test Stress Here Are The Best Stress-Busting
Approaches To Use Before And During The Test.
Do you know the best ways to
handle test stress? One critical reality is that if you wait until
the test arrives to begin applying these stress remedies, it's already
too late. You need to certainly have stress strategies in place
for use in the test, but many of the stress methods that work best
should be applied immediately prior to the test. That way you keep
stress at bay, before it has a chance to amplify out of control.
Here are my top ten stress control approaches for handling test
The Top Ten Ways To Reduce Test Stress
Here Are The Best Stress-Busting Approaches
To Use Before And During The Test
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California
Do you know the best ways to handle test stress?
One critical reality is that if you wait until the test arrives
to begin applying these stress remedies, it's already too late.
You need to certainly have stress strategies in place for use in
the test, but many of the stress methods that work best should be
applied immediately prior to the test. That way you keep stress
at bay, before it has a chance to amplify out of control.
Here are my top ten stress control approaches for handling test
- Autogenics: This approach allows you a powerful method
to relax yourself deeply and remove any stress you may have before
the test begins. Then you simply go into the test feeling relaxed
and focused, and apply simple mental adjustments as you go.
- Centering: This is perhaps THE most important mental
test skill. You must be able to calm yourself, at the muscle,
emotional and mental levels, simultaneously.
- Hypnosis And Self-Hypnosis: Many people want this special
mental approach, and once I hypnotize them, I teach them how to
do it. Even though this is a very easy method to learn, it is
- Mental Training: These are the skills you learn and
practice the weeks and days prior to your test that prepare you
mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually for the stress
of testing. With daily mental procedures you practice, your desire
to succeed, mental toughness and internal calmness is increased
- Self-Coaching: You must have the ability to be self-aware,
self-regulate and self-coach to manage your stress and test to
you fullest potential. Once I teach you these skills you can apply
them all by yourself, right in any testing situation.
- Psyching Up And Psyching Down Techniques: Some times
you need to activate before a test, and other times you need to
relax. Both these skills are critical. Knowing when to apply each
can make or break your test performance.
- Breath Control Training: When you are testing, your
mind needs to be in the present moment. You cannot afford to have
your mind wander. Learning how to control your breath is central
to controlling not only your mind, but the tension in your muscles.
- Attention Control Training: Attention is psychologist-speak
for concentration. Here you practice controlling where your mind
goes, and in blocking out unwanted distractions.
- Mental Readiness Strategies: Before you can get into
"test zone" you need to leave your "normal world" of friends,
family, hobbies, job, sports, and all else behind. The only world
that counts in testing is that world. Mental readiness strategies
get you into the performance zone, just as top athletes get into
- Visualization: All successful performers imagine themselves
in their actual event, playing at the top of their game. Test
taking is no different. Before you can actually succeed, you need
to believe you can succeed.
Are there more than these ten stress control
approaches? Absolutely. I have been teaching stress control techniques
for over 30 years, and I keep adding new stress methods all the
Which of these ten stress control approaches do you use at this
time? Which ones would you like to learn next? No matter how high
you go in academics, the pressure to perform will always be there.
Far too many otherwise capable students miss out on reaching their
true academic potential from not having a strong set of stress control
skills at their disposal. If you are younger, now is the time to
learn and master these skills so you give yourself every opportunity
for your future success.
Knowing about educational psychology and being test savvy
is certainly an important part of being a good student, but top students who
get consistently high grades also have a knowledge base and applied skills in
stress control and peak performance. You need to know how to manage your mind,
calm your emotions and relax your body so you can get into the “test zone”,
that powerful, deeply focused mind-body state that gives you excellent recall,
mental alertness and clarity. You need to learn these skills and become mentally
tough so you can handle the extreme pressures of academia. Other mental skills
training you need are visualization, confidence-building, mental readiness training
and motivation skills.
To learn this set of mental toughness, zone, and stress control skills, sign up for our special Test Anxiety Stress Reduction Program. You can also take this no-cost assessment of your test-taking skills.
Copyright © 2011-
Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority
on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and
CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business,
life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com),
an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development,
professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He
is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author
and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For
a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments
visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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