Four Emotional Strategies to Reduce Test Anxiety

On top of physical strategies, there are also four emotional strategies to help you feel less anxious before you take your TOEFL test. Think strong and you will be strong emotionally.

Emotional strategies:


  1. Keep a positive mindset and remain calm. If you can center yourself and eliminate any negativity from your mind, you will be more confident and comfortable during the test. If you can breathe whenever you feel nervous, it will help your nerves relax, and with this calmness, you can go forward successfully the test day. Before the exam, visualize yourself getting the target score you want.
  2. Schedule time to relax since relaxing will raise your efficiency. It’s important to maintain a work/study/life balance so that your emotions are not too drained. Allow yourself down time from studying in order to keep that balance and stay strong. Preparing for a challenging, draining TOEFL test requires tons of effort and statistics show that if you reward yourself by taking breaks often, you will be more emotionally centered and focused on the test.
  3. Do not give up. If you feel frustrated, just keep your eye on your goal and remember why you want to get that goal. Staying motivated is the key to getting where you want to be. Your life is made up of many aspects, not just academic. If you do not get the target score on one try, try, try again to improve your results.
  4. Ask for support from family such as a mother, sister or partner, and friends or colleagues you work with. Tell them about the exam and how important it is to you and explain what you are going through emotionally if you have any struggles. Ask them to respect your study habits, for instance if you are studying quietly at lunchtime alone, and to be patient if you do not have time for them since you have your eye on your goal.

To overcome the anxiety that you may have for the TOEFL test, you must first understand the causes of anxiety and create the best coping mechanisms for your specific situation.

Six Physical Strategies to Reduce Test Anxiety

In addition to employing mental strategies in an effort to overcome test “fear,” six physical strategies exist which also help minimize the anxiousness on the test day and prior. Of course, if you take care of your body, your brain can function well, and you will end up performing the best of your ability.

Physical Strategies:

  1. Be healthy each day so that you can perform well on the TOEFL exam day. If you go out partying the week of the exam, you may not be well-rested or feel fresh the morning of your test. Consequently, the results may be poorer than you expect. To avoid this, maintain good health while you are preparing. Developing healthy habits will be important at school too and throughout life.
  2. Sleep enough every night as if you are tired before you take the exam, you will be unable to focus, and your performance will be lower than expected.
  3. Keep up a regular exercise pattern so that mind and body are in sync. You will need to be in good shape physically to mentally perform at your best on exam ay. You can take a break to do a little exercise and stop studying for extremely long hours.
  4. Eat nutritious food since your brain needs vitality to perform its best. This may include high protein intake and less sugars (sweets, desserts) and carbohydrates which drain the brain of vital thinking power since they use a lot in digestion. Have a healthy balance of fruit and vegetables as well.
  5. Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol or coffee or caffeinated tea. These addicting behavioral mechanisms will only cause you shakiness and make your nerves run wild the day of the exam.
  6. When you are in your study practice, take breaks so that your mind can retain more information. Do not prolong a break for many hours. It’s important to take a short break each hour during your study sessions to refresh the mind. One of the easiest breaks from sitting at a desk is to stand up and do some light stretches or yoga moves. Light movement around the room can stimulate blood circulation, which enhances the activity to the brain.