college student taking notes preparing for a test before test anxiety counseling with Empower Counseling Birmingham Alabama

I often have clients come to Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama telling me that want to overcome their test anxiety. These are students from local high schools like Homewood, Vestavia, Mountain Brook, Hoover, and others. Clients also come in-person or online from Alabama, Auburn, Samford, and Birmingham-Southern. Here are 5 tips to overcome test anxiety for teens and college students from Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama, specializing in anxiety therapy.

All of these students share with me that they suffer from test anxiety. I was recently honored to be included in an article in Outwit Trade by Katie Holmes about how to overcome this specific type of anxiety. 

Test anxiety is common among students of all ages, affecting between 10% and 40%. Here are 5 tips to help your teen or college student overcome their test anxiety.

Tip #1 How to Overcome Test Anxiety for teens and college students:

Determine what your teen or college student is saying to herself/himself. How we feel and how we act is triggered by our own thoughts. That anxious feeling your child gets when looking at a test has everything to do with what your student is thinking. Often times the teen or college student tells herself/himself that “I don’t have time” or “I can’t do it”. Empower Counseling uses Acceptance Commitment Therapy to help your teen or college student uncover the thoughts causing her/his anxiety.

Tip #2 for Test Anxiety:

Prepare thoroughly for the test. How much and how thoroughly a teen or college student prepares for a test is going to affect his/her confidence level, which in turn will affect your student’s thoughts. If your student knows the material backwards and forwards it is more difficult to have the thought “I can’t do it” when he or she looks at the test.

Tip #3 for Test Anxiety:

When your teen or college student receives the test, he or she should use a blank piece of paper to cover all of the questions except the first one. Looking at the entire page of questions with blank spaces for answers can be overwhelming and lead to thoughts of “I don’t have time” which will trigger more anxious thoughts and a nervous system response which will make it more difficult to think clearly. Instead, just read one question at a time and concentrate only on answering that one question.

Tip #4 for Test Anxiety

Have your teen or college student practice mindfulness. If your teen or college student practices mindfulness in situations in which he or she is not anxious or nervous, then when the time comes to take a test, your student will be able to let go of the thought before anxiety is triggered. It is a good idea to practice mindfulness for a few minutes several times a day.

Tip # 5 for Test Anxiety

Counseling with Empower Counseling, whether in-person or online, can help your teen uncover the thoughts that are causing the test anxiety. Then I will teach your teen or college student mindfulness to let go of the anxious thoughts. Next, we will focus on time management so that your teen or college student has plenty of time to thoroughly prepare for the test ahead of time, optimizing confidence and lowering the threat of anxiety.

Your teen or college student does not have to suffer alone in silence. Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama, specializes in helping teens and college students break free from all types of anxiety. 

For more on the article from Outwit Trade:

Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama offers other types of counseling at our counseling clinic. Empower Counseling also offers depression counseling and therapy for difficult life transitions. As a former attorney, I understand the pressure of being a professional in high stress position and that is why I offer counseling for professionals.

More blog posts for teens and college students:

Tips to increase confidence.

Therapy for Alabama students.

More anxiety posts:

5 tips to lower anxiety

5 Reasons to Not Put off Anxiety Therapy.

Podcast episodes:

5 tips to stop overwhelm.

Unlock your most powerful mindset.

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