…write about what’s making you anxious, for 10 minutes, immediately before you take your exam.
Speaking recently to a number of students worried about the anxiety that might derail their ability to do well on exams, I remembered a study that any student suffering from exam anxiety will want to know about. Researchers at the University of Chicago discovered that anxious students can address their anxiety–and perform well on their exams–by taking 10 minutes to free write about their anxious feelings before an exam. Check out the Globe and Mail’s article on the study. The gist is this: get to your exam early enough to write for 10 minutes about what’s making you anxious. Do the 10 minute write immediately before the exam. As one of the researchers of the study reports, “We showed that students who are normally test-anxious were able to perform just as well as their other classmates.” By freewriting before exams, anxious students improved their grades.