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2023-2024 Student Guide: Reducing anxiety before an evaluation

Reducing anxiety before an evaluation

  • Get a good night's sleep each day for several days before the exam
  • Exercise or do something fun to burn off extra energy
  • Eat a balanced meal before the exam
  • Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine as it may cause jitters
  • If you experience strong physical reactions to anxiety, like butterflies, upset stomach or headaches, visualize where they are in your body and describe them to yourself. Accept that anxiety is a part of the process and refocus your energy on the task at hand.
  • If you are feeling unmotivated, generate a list of your positive qualities and remind yourself of them by posting them in your room or repeating them to yourself periodically.
  • Remember that the more you prepare ahead of time, the less you’ll have to worry about the night before the exam.
  • Know the information "backwards and forwards" and be sure of your understanding of the course material.
  • This last-minute relaxation technique helps you to focus and relax:
    • Close your eyes. Tense every muscle in your body, starting with the neck and moving down to the shoulders, arms, stomach, legs, and feet. Keep all muscles tensed as you move down the body. Inhale as each muscle is contracted, and hold your breath for a few seconds; then slowly exhale.>
    • After all the muscles in your body are tense, hold them for a few seconds.
    • Starting with the toes, slowly relax every muscle in your body. Exhale as each muscle is relaxed.
    • Repeat the process as necessary.


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