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The Top Ten Ways To Reduce Test Stress – Here Are The Best Stress-Busting Approaches To Use Before And During The Test.    Do you know the best ways to handle test stress? One critical reality is that if you wait until the test arrives to begin applying these stress remedies, it's already too late. You need to certainly have stress strategies in place for use in the test, but many of the stress methods that work best should be applied immediately prior to the test. That way you keep stress at bay, before it has a chance to amplify out of control. Here are my top ten stress control approaches for handling test anxiety.    608 words.
The Mental Game Coach, Peak Performance Playbook



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The Top Ten Ways To Reduce Test Stress

Here Are The Best Stress-Busting Approaches
To Use Before And During The Test



Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California



Do you know the best ways to handle test stress? One critical reality is that if you wait until the test arrives to begin applying these stress remedies, it's already too late. You need to certainly have stress strategies in place for use in the test, but many of the stress methods that work best should be applied immediately prior to the test. That way you keep stress at bay, before it has a chance to amplify out of control.

Here are my top ten stress control approaches for handling test anxiety.

  1. Autogenics: This approach allows you a powerful method to relax yourself deeply and remove any stress you may have before the test begins. Then you simply go into the test feeling relaxed and focused, and apply simple mental adjustments as you go.

  2. Centering: This is perhaps THE most important mental test skill. You must be able to calm yourself, at the muscle, emotional and mental levels, simultaneously.

  3. Hypnosis And Self-Hypnosis: Many people want this special mental approach, and once I hypnotize them, I teach them how to do it. Even though this is a very easy method to learn, it is extremely powerful.

  4. Mental Training: These are the skills you learn and practice the weeks and days prior to your test that prepare you mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually for the stress of testing. With daily mental procedures you practice, your desire to succeed, mental toughness and internal calmness is increased dramatically.

  5. Self-Coaching: You must have the ability to be self-aware, self-regulate and self-coach to manage your stress and test to you fullest potential. Once I teach you these skills you can apply them all by yourself, right in any testing situation.

  6. Psyching Up And Psyching Down Techniques: Some times you need to activate before a test, and other times you need to relax. Both these skills are critical. Knowing when to apply each can make or break your test performance.

  7. Breath Control Training: When you are testing, your mind needs to be in the present moment. You cannot afford to have your mind wander. Learning how to control your breath is central to controlling not only your mind, but the tension in your muscles.

  8. Attention Control Training: Attention is psychologist-speak for concentration. Here you practice controlling where your mind goes, and in blocking out unwanted distractions.

  9. Mental Readiness Strategies: Before you can get into "test zone" you need to leave your "normal world" of friends, family, hobbies, job, sports, and all else behind. The only world that counts in testing is that world. Mental readiness strategies get you into the performance zone, just as top athletes get into their zone.

  10. Visualization: All successful performers imagine themselves in their actual event, playing at the top of their game. Test taking is no different. Before you can actually succeed, you need to believe you can succeed.

Are there more than these ten stress control approaches? Absolutely. I have been teaching stress control techniques for over 30 years, and I keep adding new stress methods all the time.

Which of these ten stress control approaches do you use at this time? Which ones would you like to learn next? No matter how high you go in academics, the pressure to perform will always be there. Far too many otherwise capable students miss out on reaching their true academic potential from not having a strong set of stress control skills at their disposal. If you are younger, now is the time to learn and master these skills so you give yourself every opportunity for your future success.


Knowing about educational psychology and being test savvy is certainly an important part of being a good student, but top students who get consistently high grades also have a knowledge base and applied skills in stress control and peak performance. You need to know how to manage your mind, calm your emotions and relax your body so you can get into the “test zone”, that powerful, deeply focused mind-body state that gives you excellent recall, mental alertness and clarity. You need to learn these skills and become mentally tough so you can handle the extreme pressures of academia. Other mental skills training you need are visualization, confidence-building, mental readiness training and motivation skills.

To learn this set of mental toughness, zone, and stress control skills, sign up for our special Test Anxiety Stress Reduction Program or contact me for a complimentary review of your test-taking skills.


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Copyright © 2011- Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.


Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com), an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development, professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.

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Beating exam anxiety  
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