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Monday, June 17, 2024

Easy ways to curb your test anxiety this summer

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Test anxiety is a common hurdle for many students, especially those preparing for college entrance exams like the SAT or ACT.

The pressure to perform well can feel overwhelming, leading to sleepless nights, racing thoughts and ultimately, lower test scores. This summer, equip yourself with the tools and strategies to conquer test anxiety and pave your way to your dream school.

Geography teacher Lewis Tomlinson knows how much a horrible night’s rest can affect exam performance.

“Poor sleep during exam season will impact students’ ability to concentrate for long periods of time as well as recall information when needed,” Tomlinson said. “Additionally, inadequate sleep may increase anxiety, causing further distress. Ensuring students get adequate sleep is crucial for their mental health and exam performance.”

Another avenue that can help curb test anxiety is enrolling in college readiness courses. A notable organization that provides college readiness classes (and many other programs) is the Center for Leadership Development (CLD).

Asha Smitherman of Indianapolis knows the importance of programs like SAT Prep at CLD.

CLD member Asha Smitherman during the ribbon-cutting at the Center for Leadership Development on December 8, 2023. (Photo/Noral Parham III)

“According to recent CLD data, 90% of CLD alums from 2011-2022 enrolled in college,” Smitherman said during the unveiling of the new CLD headquarters last Fall. “I credit CLD for helping me grow and blossom into the amazing young woman I am meant to be.”

Registration closes for the next round of SAT prep courses at CLD on June 18.

Along with proper rest and college readiness programs, there are companies like Kaplan, Princeton Review, and many others that provide a range of test preparation books. These books offer in-depth reviews of the study material, practice questions and tips for handling test anxiety.

Conquering test anxiety is not only about achieving a higher score; it’s about empowering oneself to reach their full potential.

While sleep and college prep courses can help, they are not the only causes of exam stress. Here are some additional tips for managing test anxiety:

  • Get organized: Create a study schedule and stick to it. Break down the material into manageable nuggets and set realistic goals.
  • Practice self-care: Aside from getting enough sleep, eat healthy and exercise regularly. These habits will help testers stay focused and energized.
  • Talk to someone: If your test anxiety is severe, consider talking to a counselor or therapist. They can help you develop a plan to manage your anxiety.

Remember, test anxiety is a common challenge, but it doesn’t have to define you or your exam scores. With the right resources and strategies, you can overcome this hurdle and achieve your college dreams.


Contact multi-media and senior sports reporter Noral Parham III at 317-762-7846. Follow him on X @3Noral.

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