Posted by ICON School on Jun 15, 2022 1:03:09 PM

student smiling while prepping for online test

Exams may be a mandatory part of an online school, but they can cause anxiety when it comes to putting your knowledge to the test. However, feeling a bit anxious isn’t always a bad thing. It just means that you care about the results and want to do your best. But unfortunately, those nerves can often get the best of us if we don’t take steps to get them under control.

Here are several strategies you can put to use to overcome the nerves of test-taking.

1. Eliminate Negative Self-Talk

Test-taking is a mental task, so the first place to start is to control the way we think about exams. It may seem silly, but speaking positively about yourself can really help. It goes without saying that when someone says something negative to us, whether it be in person or on social media, it affects our mood. And suddenly, we now feel bad about ourselves even if we were having a good day. So it’s no wonder that when we tell ourselves things like, “I can’t do this,” or “I don’t understand this,” we start to believe it.

On the other hand, when others encourage us, it makes us feel much better about ourselves and our work. This same principle can be applied to the ways we speak about ourselves. The more often you encourage yourself and your abilities, the more clearly you’ll be able to think when it comes time to work under pressure.

2. Don’t Wait Until the Night Before to Study

Although our days can get busy, setting aside short bursts of study time throughout the week is better than waiting until the night before to cram it all in. This gives your mind time to reinforce the study material, so the information sticks. Whereas taking in a lot of information at once makes it harder to recall the answers when you need them most. Try to give yourself a week or more to learn the information so that you’ll have plenty of time to go over the answers multiple times leading up to the test.

3. Take Part in Stress-Reducing Activities

Anxiety often comes in moments when we’re sitting idly. And while studying should be a top priority, it’s also good to take breaks. It’s possible to over-prepare for a test, which can lead to headaches, sleeplessness, and anxiety over whether you’ll remember the material when it comes time to take the exam. Not to mention, an online school requires many hours of screen time, which can be strenuous on the eyes. That’s why it’s good to get away from the books (or the screen) and distract yourself from thinking these kinds of thoughts.

In almost any form, exercise can reduce stress by boosting feel-good endorphins. By exercising or participating in fun activities, you can begin filling your mind with thoughts other than worrying about how you’ll perform on the test.

4. Talk to a Teacher

If you’re feeling especially worried about a particular test, sometimes the best thing to do is talk to your teacher about what’s making you uneasy. Maybe the material is a bit more challenging to grasp, or perhaps it’s an exam that weighs heavily on your final grade results. Whatever the case may be, talking to your teacher can greatly reduce test anxiety. 

For one, teachers help students work through their anxiety every day when it comes to school work. After all, they were once students themselves and had the same stress that you feel now. Your concerns also show the teacher that you care, and they will give you the advice and encouragement you need to overcome this challenge.

5. Get a Full Night’s Sleep

And finally, don’t forget to go to bed at a reasonable hour. It might be tempting to stay up all night to get that last bit of study time in, but you want to be fully alert when taking a test, which means getting the right amount of sleep to let your mind refresh. According to Mayo Clinic, the [recommended amount of sleep]( is seven hours.

In the days leading up to the test, try to form a proper sleep schedule. Maintaining consistent sleep is vital throughout the year, but it’s especially crucial during a test week.


Test anxiety is something many students of an online school feels, but you can take some steps to reduce the nerves by taking control of your thoughts, study habits, and sleep patterns. And remember, a little bit of nerves are normal and can even be a good thing. Nerves help increase our focus and can even help us perform better under pressure. You’ve got this!

If you need extra assistance in taking tests, don’t hesitate to reach out for help!


ICON School

Written by ICON School

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