Don’t sweat it

By Sofia Syed, Arts & Life Editor

All students know it: exams are stressful.

To overcome the accompanying anxiety and nervousness UA’s Counseling Center presented a workshop on reducing test anxiety in Simmons Hall.

Eric Hayden, assistant director of Counseling Center Training, and psychology intern Rebecca Crain showed a powerpoint with various tips about fighting test anxiety.

The audience engaged in an opening discussion by stating how the thought of an exam makes them feel.

According to the powerpoint, test anxiety is defined as an anxious reaction to a testing situation, which is a learned behavior.

Hayden stated that certain levels of nervousness are good because they raise awareness.

Feeling anxiety before a test is normal, but if one feels that their anxiety will hinder their test taking abilities, they can follow these tips.

A tip to reduce anxiety is to use the time allotted productively and try to minimize distractions.  The Counseling Center says that “good test takers spend 75 percent of their time reading the question, 25 percent answering it.”

Cramming all night may seem like a good way to fit in some last minute studying, but it’s better to study a little each day— it helps to retain information better, according to the Counseling Center. Getting a proper amount of sleep before a test is also another important factor that can help reduce anxiety.

Having a change in attitude is also helpful. Challenge negative thoughts about failing with positive statements.

During the test, focus on one question at a time. Skipping questions and doing all the hard questions last tends to make one feel more anxious.

Freshman Brooklyn Tolle attended the session to learn tips about how to control her test anxiety.

“I came from a small high school…on tests, it was more just of knowing the right answer, but here you have to think about it so it’s been a bigger transition. I get really bad anxiety,” Tolle said.

The next workshop, over improving your test-taking skills, will take place on Monday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. in Simmons Hall Room 306. To see which other workshops are available through the Counseling Center, visit