5 Ways to Knock Out the Test Taking Jitters

Students, welcome to “Julie’s School for Those Who Chronically Feel Unprepared on Test Days”! I am Julie, your sensei. Learn from me.

5 Ways to Knock Out the Test Taking Jitters

Are you the type of student who studies a lot but never feels completely prepared? Do you get terribly nervous during tests? Do you wonder if you’ll ever conquer your fear of test taking?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you have come to the right place. I have often struggled with these problems myself! After much grief, I have discovered some key insights that may help you as well.

Here’s some good news: you absolutely CAN knock out the test taking jitters! These five tips will help you not only significantly reduce or eliminate your fears, but will also likely help you perform better on your tests. These tips apply not only to those taking college-level dual credit tests, but to any student taking any type of test.

1. Remind yourself that the test is just a test.

Although it may seem like it, your life doesn’t literally depend on one test. Take a deep breath!

Even if you don’t pass your test, you aren’t “behind”. You still have all the information you learned, and, if the test is a college-level dual credit exam, you can take the test again!

2. Choose to have a positive attitude!

Negativity is distracting and draining. Having a positive attitude about your test and whether or not you will pass it will help you have a clear, focused mind!

If you have studied diligently and are even moderately intelligent (I believe you are!), then in all likelihood you absolutely will pass your test!

3. Make sure to eat before taking your test.

This one is super important to me. If I walk in a testing center with an empty stomach, there is no way I’m going to be able to focus on, say, trade unions or World War II. Let’s face it. I’m always hungry (#PizzaForTheWin)!

Don’t skip breakfast or lunch before a test. But, make sure you don’t eat immediately before walking into an exam, because you don’t want all of your energy going towards digesting your food (instead of fueling your brain functions!).

4. Wear something comfortable.

If you have to go into a test wearing your ugliest comfy clothes, then do it. Your comfort while taking this test is worth the few weird looks you might get (which are almost always from family members, anyway).

Or, if you feel more comfortable dressing like a million dollars, go for it!

5. Listen to some good music before taking your test.

Create a winning playlist to listen to on the day of the test. You might need a little “Distant Dreamer” by Duffy or “I Can Go the Distance” from the “Hercules” soundtrack.

Get some good music playing to get you motivated, and set the mood for success!

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. I officially declare you a graduate of “Julie’s School for Those Who Chronically Feel Unprepared on Test Days”! You’ve got this!


My name is Julie, and I'm sharing my Dual Credit at Home journey with you! I’m 17 years old, and I’m the seventh child in my family of 10. I’ve always been home schooled, and my schooling has included high school subjects (usually followed by the corresponding college-level exam) along with some classes at the junior college. I'll be graduating in May, 2016 from high school at home along with receiving my bachelor's degree with a history major from Charter Oak State College (as long as I study hard!)