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As a junior in high school, I take many tests. Recently, everyone had to take state tests for science and history, as well as the ACT. Between studying for that and all of the homework that has been piled on, I haven’t had much time for anything else-like sleep. I’ve also noticed that there is a lot of anxiety. Everyone had varying degrees of anxiety; but it seems to be fairly consistent with 3 different variables. They were

  1. How much a student prepared
  2. When that prep work was done
  3. How important the test was to each student.

To discuss the first point; how much a student had prepared. Those who had studied for several hours were a lot less nervous than those who hadn’t studied at all.

Next; When that prep work was done. Those who had started studying several weeks in advance also felt more ready for the tests than those who had started only the day before or none at all.

Lastly; how important the test was to each student. After being told that the state science test wasn’t only important and the only score we would receive was a pass or a fail on the bottom of a transcript, many people weren’t worried too much about studying for this test. In contrast, we have all been told that the ACT is very important for college admissions so many people were very nervous going into this test.

Based on this, I have a solution for dealing with anxiety over specific projects, and no, it’s not just self-care like exercise and salt-baths (however self-care is also very important). As soon as you find out about an important project, whether it be a test or otherwise, put it on your calendar. Then, now that you know how many days you have to study or prepare, determine how much time you can and want to commit to working on it each day, or which days you will work on it. Planning that out is one thing, but actually doing it is another. If it helps, it may be useful to even write down the days on your calendar that you plan to study or work on that specific thing. Determine how important that thing is to you; a Finals test would be more important than a single homework assignment, and would therefore have more time dedicated to working on it. Just by doing a simple action such as making a plan and following through with it, you can greatly reduce anxiety.

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