Whatever your reasons are, it's important to do a thorough inward search as to how your anxiety is sabotaging you. Questions to ask yourself are:

  1. What am I saying to myself that exasperates my anxiety?
  2. What are my core beliefs regarding my ability to perform?
  3. How do I relate to a test? Do I view it as an intimidating authority figure?

Once you have identified the self-statements and core beliefs underlying your anxiety, it's now time to respond to them.

First, write down the negative self-statements and core beliefs.

Second, close your eyes, and begin to breathe slowly and easily. Be sure to use deep diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing helps to calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety. Let every breath you take increase your confidence and intention to do well on tests.

Third, open your eyes, and write down a positive response to each negative self-statement and belief you have written down. If you have trouble doing this, return to step two. In your breathing visualization you may want to imagine how someone you admire and respect would respond to your negative and false beliefs.

Fourth, take your positive responses and repeat them to yourself. Do this until they feel true to you. This can take time, but keep repeating them as you go about your day Over time, these statements will feel more comfortable.

Fifth, do your own test-taking visualization. Close your eyes and deep breathe for a few minutes. Let your nervous system calm down and your body relax. Repeat your positive self-statement several times. Emphasize the ones that are particularly powerful and helpful to you.

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