Studying is a must for any exam. But for some students, even the best of students, all the preparation in the world might not be enough.

So what stands in their way? Anxiety and poor test-taking skills.

Certain tests can cause students to stumble and fail the exam if the student isn’t aware of how test makers phrase questions to make them more challenging. Another problem that can plague any student is anxiety. If the issue isn’t addressed, you will be more prone to making careless errors, fail to recall what you’ve learned in your course materialsor not finish the exam on time.

However, there is hope for home-study massage students; it comes in the form of test-taking strategies. These planned strategies can help you overcome some of the stressful obstacles before you in the tests.

Overcoming anxiety

  • Rest. Get a good night’s sleep before you take your exam. That way, you go into the test feeling more refreshed and relaxed.
  • Don’t cram the night before your test. Give yourself several days to study the material that will be tested so you’re not spending hours on end reading the night before.
  • Practice makes perfect. Taking practice exams before the big day will improve your chances of making the high grade and it can familiarize you with how the test will be given.
  • Buddy up. Find a friend or a family member to help you study by asking you questions about the material you have learned. You can also get creative and use a flash card system to study certain aspects of the course.
  • Take your exam early in the day. This way, you are fresh and ready to go. Many massage home-study courses give you the freedom to decide when to take the test.
  • Get food. Eat a light meal before you take the test. It will give you energy and help keep you from being drowsy.
  • Take a step back and take a deep breath. About 30 to 45 minutes before your test, do some stress-relieving exercises. Deep breathing, yoga and meditation will help you to calm down.
  • Read instructions. When starting the exam, make sure to read all of the instructions first. It sounds like a no-brainer, but many students forget to do this.
  • Calculate. Review the length of the test and figure out about how much time you will need for each section.
  • Don’t get stumped. If you come across a difficult question, move on and come back to it later. Answering the easier questions will also help boost your confidence.
  • When you’re finished, review what you did. And make sure you answered every question.

—Jeremy Maready

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