Ways to Deal with Testing Stress

Kamille Buchanan, Writer

April and May are perhaps the most stressful months of the school year for students, signaling the end of the school year and the start of final exams. For AP students, April and May also means taking AP exams, which determine if a student earns the college credit for the course they have been taking all year. Stress can be greatly increased by the additional pressure to succeed on these tests. In the heat of End of Course exams and Advanced Placement testing, students begin to feel burnt out. Here are some suggestions to help you manage the pressure of the exams if you’re feeling extra exhausted this year.

Getting a good night’s rest is the best cure for heightened anxiety and stress. Regular sleep patterns help the body to relax and regenerate, enhance focus, control mood, and improve judgment and decision-making. When well-rested, the mind is better equipped to handle problems and deal with stress. More sleep can lower cortisol levels and help the body’s systems return to equilibrium. To avoid the spike in hormone levels altogether and to lessen the sensations of stress and worry, try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

Many people have the misconception that the best way to reduce AP and EOC exams stress is to overcommit to study sessions and practice exams. However, no matter how well one may have planned their studies or how well-prepared one may be, self-care is still a necessity. There must be a balance between study time and self-care schedules. Whatever self-care looks like, for example: taking a bath or working out, it is crucial to make time for self-care to reduce stress and anxiety.

A fantastic method to stop racing thoughts and take a moment to breathe is through meditation. Make time throughout the day before AP exams to relax with some breathing techniques or a guided meditation. Meditation offers a calm mind and a deep level of relaxation. Meditation also narrows one’s focus and stops the constant stream of disorganized ideas that might be stressing the mind. Physical and emotional health also improve as a result; therefore, meditation is also one of the best medicines to relieve stress during AP and EOC exams.

Everyone strives for a 5 in AP exams and Mastery grades for EOCs, as it is the best result possible on an AP and EOC exams and looks fantastic on college applications. Nonetheless, it’s crucial not to put earning a perfect mark first days before the tests. Instead of being focused on earning a 5 and striving to earn Mastery on the EOCs, the objective should instead be to feel prepared and satisfied with how one performs the day of the exam and knowing the best to one’s capability was done.

Mental and physical health are important and should be the number one priority. Nevertheless, April and May are the most stressful months of the academic year. However, getting a good night’s sleep, meditating, focusing on self-care, and feeling prepared and satisfied rather than stressing on what one may not know are the best tips to overcome stress and anxiety during AP and EOC testing.