Overcoming Nervousness, Stress and Test Anxiety

If you are looking for a different test, or are not sure which test is relevant for your position, please  contact us, and we will do our best to ensure you get the most accurate preparation for your upcoming assessment.


What is Exam Anxiety?

Exam anxiety is a common stress reaction experienced before, during, and sometimes even after exams. In some cases, it can even interfere with your ability to study for the exam or do well in it.

Exam anxiety can come from emotional, physical, or cognitive symptoms. These can include:

  • Feeling nervous, helpless, or even guilty.
  • Experiencing panic or even panic attacks.
  • Increased heart rate, muscle tension, increased sweating, or tension.
  • Disruption of appetite or sleep.
  • Difficulties concentrating, paying attention, or recalling key information.
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of failure or embarrassment.
  • Nervousness about the exam results or the time limits of the exam.

We can see from this summary that exam anxiety in some forms can be normal or even beneficial, but in strong forms, It can actually make it a lot harder for you to succeed or even just to study in the first place.

Dealing with Anxiety Under Time Pressure

If you're about to take a Cognitive test that includes a time limit like the Wonderlic test or the CCAT exam it could be helpful to take the time and practice accurate test-like questions that can help improve your solution speed and reduce overall anxiety.

Also, there are several strategies you can use to help manage it. Here are a few techniques that may be helpful:

  • Break it down: Sometimes the thought of an entire exam can be overwhelming. Break it down into smaller parts and focus on one question at a time. This will help you stay focused and reduce anxiety.
  • Time management: Make sure to manage your time well during the exam. This can help you feel less rushed and reduce anxiety.
  • Take breaks: If you start to feel overwhelmed during the exam, take a short break to gather your thoughts and calm your nerves.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before and during the exam. Dehydration can increase stress and anxiety.

You will experience some level of stress during an exam, but by using these strategies, you can handle your anxiety and perform well.

Dealing with Anxiety During a Live Interview

Anxiety during a live interview is a common experience, and it can be challenging to manage. Here are some tips that might help you deal with anxiety during a live interview:

  • Be Prepared: The more prepared you are, the less anxious you'll be. Many interviewers use culture fit tests, ask behavioral questions, and situational judgment questions, so do your research on the company and the position, prepare answers to common interview questions, and practice your responses using the S.T.A.R method strategy
  • Take Deep Breaths: Deep breathing exercises can help calm your nerves and reduce anxiety. Take a few deep breaths before the interview starts and try to maintain a steady breathing rhythm during the interview.
  • Practice Positive Self-Talk: Negative self-talk can increase anxiety levels, so it's essential to replace any negative thoughts with positive ones. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself, such as "I am prepared for this interview," "I am confident in my abilities," and "I can do this."
  • Use Grounding Techniques: Grounding techniques can help you stay focused and calm during the interview. Try focusing on your senses, such as the feeling of your feet on the ground or the sounds in the room, to ground yourself in the present moment.
  • Remember that It's Okay to Be Nervous: Finally, remember that it's normal to feel nervous during an interview. Accepting and acknowledging your anxiety can help you manage it better.

Confronting the Problem

Several important tools exist for dealing with exam anxiety. They are primarily in the form of forming healthier thought patterns and performing physical (biofeedback) exercises to become less anxious. Let’s talk about both of these things in turn.

Healthier Thought Patterns

Dealing with exam anxiety requires thinking of the concept of anxiety in a healthy and affirming context, so as to avoid having it grow to disabled proportions. Here are some important truths to remember and repeat to yourself:

  • Anxiety is normal. No, you are not worried just because there is something wrong with you. Most of the other candidates are anxious too. Just because they appear to be calm, does not mean they are not worried.
  • Other people can’t ‘see right through you’. Often anxious people imagine everyone else can notice they’re worried, and this contributes to their feelings of shame and makes their anxiety stronger. Good news! That’s probably not true. Most people can’t really notice there is ‘something wrong with you’ (not that there is anything wrong about being worried about an exam to start with.
  • Anxiety can be constructive. The reason you are anxious is that you care about succeeding in the exam. That’s good! You should probably care! You will often hear characters in action movies tell you that “fear is your friend” because fear teaches you to avoid dangerous actions. Anxiety is also your friend as long as it reminds you to work hard for success and does not paralyze you.
  • You can do it. Thinking that you are not going to succeed, that success is impossible, just increases your chance of failure. One mental exercise that helps you reduce your fear of an exam is to compile a written list of similar experiences you’ve succeeded in the past.



Exam anxiety is a common phenomenon that appears in almost all exam candidates. This is a reasonable response to an important event in your life. However, if exam anxiety is left to go unchecked and uncontrolled, it can damage your chances of success or even your health. If you follow the advice we gave, you can control anxiety instead of letting it control you.

All the trademarks mentioned on this page are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website.
Not what you were looking for?