High school students across the country are feeling the pressure of the PSAT this week. While most students experience some level of uneasiness during a test, students with test anxiety suffer severe physical, emotional and cognitive reactions. Headaches, nausea, sweating, feelings of helplessness and difficulty concentrating are common indicators of test anxiety.

For those who experience symptoms, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers some tips for managing test anxiety:

  • Be prepared. Begin studying at least a week or two before the exam. If possible, take a practice test, constraining yourself to the same time limit as the actual test.
  • Develop good test-taking skills. Read all directions carefully, and answer the questions you know first.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Your self-worth is not defined by a test grade.
  • Stay focused. Concentrate on the test, not others around you during the exam.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. If you start to feel stressed during the test, take deep, slow breaths and consciously relax your muscles, one at a time.
  • Stay healthy. Get enough sleep, eat healthy and exercise. You can handle stress better when you are well-rested and nourished.
  • Visit the counseling center. Reach out to your school counselors for help with test anxiety.

Soon, this will be you!