Workshops, tips for test anxiety with upcoming finals

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By Brianna Rodrigue

With finals around the corner, Counselor David Rodriguez shared helpful tips on how to overcome test anxiety.

Anxiety is affected by a person responding to a threat. “Your body senses it,” Rodriguez said in a telephone interview April 5.

Rodriguez said everybody deals with anxiety and it affects everyone in different ways.

Feeling jittery, rapid breathing, an increased heart rate, stomach cramps, nausea, mood swings and avoiding friends, school or work are some different signs of anxiety.

“Everybody has anxiety during tests. We all get nervous,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes, you can’t focus or function. Your mind starts racing and you panic.”

A person can manage anxiety by deep breathing, meditation, exercising or practicing a hobby, such as dance, art, sports or video games, he said.

“Find something that relaxes you,” he said. “We don’t get rid of anxiety, we manage it.”

Rodriguez provided nine helpful tips on how to overcome test anxiety during finals.

1. Be prepared. “The more confident you are, the less anxiety,” he said.

2. Get a good night’s sleep. “Lack of sleep will not let you think clearly,” Rodriguez said.

3. Eat a nutritious breakfast.

4. Pack everything you need the night before, make sure you have gas or a ride, and get to class on time, he said.

5. Have a positive attitude.

6. Read all the directions. Rodriguez said one student saw three essay topics on a test and wrote one essay for all three topics when only one was required.

7. Answer wisely. “Answer ones you know first, then the ones you need to solve or figure out next. Do the ones you are not sure about last,” he said.

8. Don’t pay attention to other students.

9. Pace yourself and be aware of the time.

Even with all the tips, some students might still need assistance with the anxiety, he said.

“If you are struggling with it, come to the counseling office. You don’t have to be afraid of it,” he said.

The counseling office provides three stress management workshops that teach students how to deal with both stress and anxiety.

The workshops are 12:30-2 p.m. Monday, 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 323 of Chance Academic Center. Go to Room 323 to sign up.

For more information, call 210-486-1620 or visit


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