1.  Health & Well Being first – Make sure you sleep well, eat well and drink plenty of water. In addition, balance your studies while staying connected to people you love. Keep up your regular activities, running, playing tennis, doing yoga, whatever your activity is. The idea is to discover the formula that keeps you operating at your optimum and to practice sticking to it.

2.  Explore the anxiety – We relate to how we feel… I “feel” anxious, upset, sad, frustrated, confused etc. The feelings distract us and keep us from looking at the root thoughts that are actually causing the feelings to begin with. Feelings create body sensations. Meditate, breathe deeply, what do the “feelings” need? What can you do to disappear the body sensations? Apply heaps of comfort and compassion to you.

3.  Discover your root thoughts – Once you’ve calmed the body sensations down, list your thoughts on a piece of paper as they come to you. “I am doomed.” “I NEVER do well on tests.” “I am afraid of failing.” “I don’t get the material from this Chapter.”  Separate the thoughts into two columns… A. Facts and   B. Fiction – “I am doomed” is fiction. What really is the worst case scenario? You do not pass the test and have to take it again or maybe even the entire class over. It is important to remember that there is gold in every worst case scenario. I remember retaking an exam and realizing that the extra review had me learn the material more thoroughly which resulted in me being better at that part of my job.  Whatever your thoughts may be, once you discover them you can then create a positive outcome no matter the result of your exam.

4.  Choose empowering thoughts – You control your thoughts and therefore can choose which ones to act on. Why would you want to fuel your world with fictional, negative ones? That’s just weird right?  Swap disempowering thoughts for empowering ones. “I am brilliant”, “I have this.” “I will succeed”. The key here is to not just “have the thought” but to actually “empower” the thought and to practice relating to it as your truth.

5.  Believe in you – We are meaning making machines. We use every piece of evidence and circumstance from our past to prove our negative stories and fuel our negative self talk. Notice when you do that and gently remind yourself to “knock it off.” You might even make a list of the qualities you love about you and keep it visible. Use the list to remind you of who you really are separate from those circumstances.

There are many great study guides, tips and tools out there.  Once you’ve addressed your unique reaction to tests (“the being” of you) then you can discover what structure might best support your learning style (“the doing”).