5 Things You Shouldn't Do on Test Day

by Sara Vazquez Shaw

Not many events in life induce the amount of stress like academic tests can. At the thought of taking a written exam, palms moisten, hearts quicken, and fingers suddenly lose control of writing utensils. Whether it's a mock or the real thing there's no reason to let test day get the better of you.

For your best chances of success, here are five things you should try to avoid doing on test day:

1. Show up late

The worst thing you can do for yourself is to arrive at a test late. Starting a test in a rush is likely to lead to hurrying through the entire thing. Show up to the classroom or testing facility early with your materials ready. Choose a comfortable seat in an area where you feel at ease, and give yourself a few moments to mentally prepare. If you like, why not mentally run over those last few art history slides in your head before the test papers are passed out? Or simply sit silently, and trust that you're more than prepared for the upcoming test (because of course you are, right?).

2. Forget to bring supplies

No one wants to depend on a classmate for a pen or paper. Know what materials are required for the test you're taking, and bring plenty of them with you. Knowing you've got the physical things you need to perform well may make it easier to focus on the mental aspects of test taking.

3. Skip breakfast

Studies show eating a balanced breakfast every morning improves brain function and may even enhance test-taking ability. Do yourself a favour, and eat a power bar before you trot off to take that important algebra exam. You may notice just how much of a difference a little calorie intake makes.

4. Pull an all-nighter

Though it's tempting to cram the night before a big test, it is in your best interest to rest a little too. Try to get seven to 9 hours of sleep the night before a test. Sleep enhances memory recall, which may help you remember those periodic element abbreviations during that chemistry exam.

5. Schedule stressful activities after a test

After taking a huge test, it may not be the best idea to schedule a job interview. If you need to wind down following a lengthy exam, make time for it. You set aside time before the test, so why not do the same for afterward? Allow yourself to let loose after taking a stressful test, and try not to worry about how well you performed on it. Relax, and trust that you did your best.

Test taking is a huge part of education. Most people worry about how they perform on tests, so don't feel bad if you find yourself anxious leading up to one. Study hard, and try to avoid these few things, and you'll be one step ahead of the rest.

Tags: exams tests prepare education
Categories: Exams