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How To Improve And Cope With Test Anxiety

A new school semester is beginning and some of you might be thinking of ways to improve your grades or perform better during exam time. If so, now is the time to get started on working towards a better you. Getting an early start will only improve your chances of long term success! There are a number of habits and strategies you can start implementing now to help you get a head start. It is estimated that roughly 20% students suffer from test anxiety. Another 18% can sometimes experience a more mild form of this condition. If it is something that you struggle with, there are many ways you can help yourself overcome it. This article aims to give you some strategies you can implement to significantly reduce your test anxiety. It will also go over how hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis can be used as an additional tool in your journey.


Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy can help you manage many facets and aspects of your life. It’s a great way to calm yourself down that will in turn help refocus and recenter your thoughts. Hypnosis has been long-known to help individuals manage their stress and anxiety in various forms. Athletes use visualisation techniques while in a light (cataleptic) hypnotic state to project success and get them into the right frame of mind for competition day. The same principles can be used to help you manage your stress and anxiety for school and tight exam schedules. Taking a holistic / balanced approach to your overall wellness will ensure that you are in top shape for your upcoming midterms and finals the the months ahead.

What Can You Do to Help Cope With Test Anxiety? Arlin Cuncic from has outlined some really good strategies you can use to help deal with test anxiety. By working with and applying these strategies, you’ll be able to work towards taking your exams more confidently and improve your grades. I’ve outlined these tips here for you to look over:

  • Prepare Well, Adequately, And In Advance: An important thing to do to help you with test anxiety is to prepare as well as you can. It will build your confidence. To help you prepare for an exam, you can join a study group, ask your friends for help or find a skilled tutor to help you with more difficult subjects. Visiting your professor during office hours is also a good way to get further clarification on challenging material. Lastly, be aware of what will be on the exam and the material that will be covered (Essay Questions, Multiple-Choice etc.) This will avoid any surprises on test day.

  • Be Mindful Of Negative Self Talk: When feeling nervous or anxious about a test, it is easy to fall into a spiral of negative thoughts. To avoid falling into that spiral, you can keep your self-talk in check and change any negative thoughts into positive ones. For example, you can reassure yourself by thinking: “I prepared for the test and I can do well.”, instead of “ I don’t think I studied enough to do well for this test.”

  • Visualize Success: All you have to do is imagine yourself performing well during a test while studying for it. Once you can visualise your success, it will help increase your confidence during test time.

  • Relaxation Strategies: Practicing deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery will help you to refresh yourself and concentrate on your studying.

  • Stay Healthy: When you face multiple exams, most people tend to ignore the importance of your physical health. Make sure to keep up with moderate exercise, sleep, and eating well-balanced meals. Keeping these factors in check will be helpful to reduce stresses as you near exam time.

  • Arrive Early: Try to get to the test location at least 10 minutes early. If you feel nervous while waiting, bring a magazine or listen to music in order to help relieve the tension.

  • Focus During the Test: During the test, do everything you can to focus on it. If you start to feel nervous, take deep breaths. Go through the exam and write down/answer all the questions that come easy to you. Once that’s done, go back and tackle the more difficult questions.

  • Accept a Little Anxiety: Being a little anxious can actually help you perform better. It means you care and will help you avoid careless mistakes. If you feel a little nervous, it’s totally normal and will only help you along.

  • Expect Setbacks: Setbacks are normal and are a part of learning. There will always be roadblocks in your life. Try to think and keep positive. Understand that failure in an exam does not necessarily equate a disastrous future ahead.

  • Reward Yourself: Once you’ve finished a test, give yourself a reward. Relax and clear your mind instead of overthinking about mistakes you might have made. After taking a break, start to prepare for your other exams.

How Can Hypnotherapy and Self-Hypnosis Help You Relieve Test Anxiety? Hypnotherapy is an excellent tool to help you reduce your test anxiety. It can help you in multiple ways. While studying for a test, it can help you boost your comprehension, improve your focus, and improve memory recall. While taking an exam, hypnosis can help you remain calm and relaxed helping you ignore distractions. In addition, visualizing your success while in hypnosis can boost your confidence in test-taking. By introducing self-hypnosis into your life, you can help accelerate your success.

If you have any questions, interested in trying out a session, or getting a personalized self-hypnosis tape made, please reach out and feel free to send me an e-mail.

Written By: Sebastian Di Cesare PhD, RHt - a research scientist & practicing Registered Hypnotherapist based in Vancouver, Canada. Researched & compiled by Mariko Yoshikawa - marketing intern at West Coast Hypnotherapy.

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