Overcoming test and presentation anxiety  

Author: Isha

When meeting new people, going to a new school, speaking in front of large groups, playing for a sports team, or completing schoolwork, anxiety can be a common obstacle we face during these crucial high school years. In this article, you will learn some ways to control anxiety, specifically the two forms that play an integral part in academic performance: test anxiety and anxiety of public speaking. Controlling the level of anxiety is the key to helping your academic career to be as smooth as possible.

We’ve all probably felt our hands growing sweaty and butterflies roaming around our stomach, right before writing an exam. Foremost, it is important to keep a positive outlook, as opposed to being pessimistic and self-critical. This will help you build a resilient attitude, which will help you accomplish goals, and find success.

Next, exercising can have a positive effect on anxiety in general. It can help you get a good night’s sleep and sharpen memories. On the day of the test, remember to eat a nutritious breakfast and avoid caffeine as it can increase anxiety. To budget your time beforehand, make sure you know the time length of the test. During the test, read the directions properly and don’t let your mind wander. Test anxiety is in some ways good because it acts as a form of motivation to prepare and excel in academics; but it can harmful when anxiety makes it difficult to focus, therefore, it’s important to find the right balance between motivation and harmful anxiety.

Glossophobia, better known as speech anxiety or “stage fright,” is a huge source of anxiety for many people. This phobia can hinder our progress in a work or school setting, so overcoming with it now will benefit us later.

First, it is key to understand that your audience wants you to do well in your speech or presentation. These people are usually your classmates and some of your friends, who are doing the same thing that you are. You may be presenting in front of strangers, but realize that they want to learn from you and want the presentation to go well. Make sure that you know who your audience is so that you can structure the presentation accordingly. Through this, you can also anticipate what kinds of questions they may ask. Preparation will open your door to confidence.

“Make sure that you know who your audience is so that you can structure the presentation accordingly.”

When presenting, make eye contact with your audience, because connecting with the audience with both your work and body language is key. Do not memorize everything word for word because if you make one mistake you may feel discouraged, affecting the rest of your performance. Instead, understand the essence of every topic, organize your thoughts logically and improvise throughout the presentation. Finally, keep calm and relax!

I hope that you found these tips helpful. Put them into action the next time your teacher assigns you a project or sets a date for a test!