Test Anxiety can come to anyone. It’s a common feeling, but you don’t have to let it get the better of you. If you’re feeling anxious, just remember the acronym RELAX: Read, Examine, Label, Always (check), and X (out)!

Read the question carefully. If you miss a word in the question, you could miss the whole point of the question! Don’t lose points because you didn’t read the question correctly. Remember, if you don’t read the question right, it will be hard to know what it’s asking.

Examine every answer choice before you choose an answer. “A” might seem correct…until you see “D” Don’t rush and pick the first answer. It might be 99% right, but you want to make sure you pick the answer that is 100% correct. Answers like “All of the above” or “A and B are correct” often come later in the answer choices and it might be the right answer!

Label your question (underline, take notes). Mark up your test! Underline key words in the question. Circle words like “Not” or “Except” or “all.” The more you interact with your test, the more likely you will be focused and not make silly mistakes.

Always check your work! Especially when it comes to things like math, make sure you double check your work. Forgetting a negative sign can make the entire answer incorrect. In reading or social studies, go back into the passage and check to make sure your answer is correct.

X out answers that are incorrect. If you know an answer is wrong, cross it off and move on. Don’t waste time on it any longer. You’re one step closer to finding the correct answer! Once you pick an answer, stick with it and don’t change your mind.

Anxiety can be beat. Tests don’t have to win. You can overcome this and achieve the scores you want!

Since 2002, the professional tutors at Learning Ascent in St Charles, IL have provided tutoring and ACT prep, helping thousands of students from Batavia, IL; Geneva, IL; South Elgin, IL; and other Fox Valley towns to improve their academic performance.  Click here for Homework Help resources.

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