How to overcome test anxiety?

LSATNightmares
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How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby LSATNightmares » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:53 am

So, anxiety was a major problem for me today on the LSAT. I woke up twice in the middle of the night, had a migraine during the test, and panicked during LG> How do you overcome anxiety? I did everything I was supposed to do... exercise and yoga the day before the test, walking to relax, positive thoughts. But it was useless!

I'm seriously thinking of going into therpay to deal with it. (I also get panic attacks dealing with my phobia of needles, contact leneses, anything squeamish... now I can add the LSAT LG to the list).

Thane Messinger
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby Thane Messinger » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:56 am

LSATNightmares wrote:So, anxiety was a major problem for me today on the LSAT. I woke up twice in the middle of the night, had a migraine during the test, and panicked during LG> How do you overcome anxiety? I did everything I was supposed to do... exercise and yoga the day before the test, walking to relax, positive thoughts. But it was useless!

I'm seriously thinking of going into therpay to deal with it. (I also get panic attacks dealing with my phobia of needles, contact leneses, anything squeamish... now I can add the LSAT LG to the list).


Sorry to hear this. You might be encountering physiological causes. Have you seen a physician specializing in stress disorders? (This is not written facetiously, by the way. This is a serious condition receiving increasing attention.) While a therapist might be a solution, don't discount a possible medical evaluation--litigators and newscasters among other public figures have done the same.

Thane.
Last edited by Thane Messinger on Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

pbmoore
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby pbmoore » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:00 am

LSATNightmares wrote:So, anxiety was a major problem for me today on the LSAT. I woke up twice in the middle of the night, had a migraine during the test, and panicked during LG> How do you overcome anxiety? I did everything I was supposed to do... exercise and yoga the day before the test, walking to relax, positive thoughts. But it was useless!

I'm seriously thinking of going into therpay to deal with it. (I also get panic attacks dealing with my phobia of needles, contact leneses, anything squeamish... now I can add the LSAT LG to the list).
Oh man, you sound like my identical twin (wasn't that a question today, btw?? Bahaha...)

But yes. NO amount of positive thought (and I tried a lot) helped with the anxiety. I was in bed awake for TWO HOURS last night before being about to fall asleep, and then I woke up abruptly five hours later and at that point I just got up for the day.

LSATNightmares
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby LSATNightmares » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:03 am

Thank you for your kind reply. Unfortunately, I have experienced this before. But never, ever in my life has this happened to me in a test. I was feeling so confident walking in. I've never talked about it with doctors or anything.

Tautology
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby Tautology » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:09 am

I'd say confront it head on rather than trying to avoid it. Treat it as a challenge that can be overcome. When you're having a panic attack, don't think "oh no I'm having a panic attack" think "okay, time to overcome this panic attack." Don't be afraid of them by learning to beat them. If you start feeling anxious or panicky you just say "Fuck off anxiety I'm not interested in your shit today!" Running from your fears makes them scarier.

There is also never any harm or shame in consulting a doctor.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:11 am

Tautology wrote:I'd say confront it head on rather than trying to avoid it. Treat it as a challenge that can be overcome. When you're having a panic attack, don't think "oh no I'm having a panic attack" think "okay, time to overcome this panic attack." Don't be afraid of them by learning to beat them. If you start feeling anxious or panicky you just say "Fuck off anxiety I'm not interested in your shit today!" Running from your fears makes them scarier.

There is also never any harm or shame in consulting a doctor.


I'm sorry, but this won't work. From what the op has said this is the first time he/she has felt this way to this extent. Unless you can replicate this feeling, you will never be able to beat it.

Tautology
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby Tautology » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:12 am

CastleRock wrote:
Tautology wrote:I'd say confront it head on rather than trying to avoid it. Treat it as a challenge that can be overcome. When you're having a panic attack, don't think "oh no I'm having a panic attack" think "okay, time to overcome this panic attack." Don't be afraid of them by learning to beat them. If you start feeling anxious or panicky you just say "Fuck off anxiety I'm not interested in your shit today!" Running from your fears makes them scarier.

There is also never any harm or shame in consulting a doctor.


I'm sorry, but this won't work. From what the op has said this is the first time he/she has felt this way to this extent. Unless you can replicate this feeling, you will never be able to beat it.


It seemed to me that the feeling wasn't new, just the circumstances under which it arose.

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Grizz
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby Grizz » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:13 am

Image

WestOfTheRest
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:14 am

Tautology wrote:
CastleRock wrote:
Tautology wrote:I'd say confront it head on rather than trying to avoid it. Treat it as a challenge that can be overcome. When you're having a panic attack, don't think "oh no I'm having a panic attack" think "okay, time to overcome this panic attack." Don't be afraid of them by learning to beat them. If you start feeling anxious or panicky you just say "Fuck off anxiety I'm not interested in your shit today!" Running from your fears makes them scarier.

There is also never any harm or shame in consulting a doctor.


I'm sorry, but this won't work. From what the op has said this is the first time he/she has felt this way to this extent. Unless you can replicate this feeling, you will never be able to beat it.


It seemed to me that the feeling wasn't new, just the circumstances under which it arose.


yea, but there are very few situations that will likely elicit a similar response.

Tautology
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby Tautology » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:19 am

CastleRock wrote:
Tautology wrote:
CastleRock wrote:
Tautology wrote:I'd say confront it head on rather than trying to avoid it. Treat it as a challenge that can be overcome. When you're having a panic attack, don't think "oh no I'm having a panic attack" think "okay, time to overcome this panic attack." Don't be afraid of them by learning to beat them. If you start feeling anxious or panicky you just say "Fuck off anxiety I'm not interested in your shit today!" Running from your fears makes them scarier.

There is also never any harm or shame in consulting a doctor.


I'm sorry, but this won't work. From what the op has said this is the first time he/she has felt this way to this extent. Unless you can replicate this feeling, you will never be able to beat it.


It seemed to me that the feeling wasn't new, just the circumstances under which it arose.


yea, but there are very few situations that will likely elicit a similar response.


I don't know exactly when OP has similar reactions, but certainly needles and contact lenses are not hard to come by. If anxiety gets to the OP though, the way to solve the problem is to be able to deal with the anxiety head on. Otherwise the possibility of a panic attack becomes yet another source of anxiety and exacerbates the problem.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:21 am

I agree, all I am saying is that if you can't replicate the symptom its hard to tackle the problem head on.

Tautology
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby Tautology » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:23 am

CastleRock wrote:I agree, all I am saying is that if you can't replicate the symptom its hard to tackle the problem head on.


I'll agree with the conditional statement, although if you can't replicate the symptom you don't really have a problem any more.

LSATNightmares
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby LSATNightmares » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:27 am

Thanks for your thoughts. But tackling it head on doesn't work for me. On a tangent, I was getting bloodwork done at the doctor's office, and I told the nurse practioner that I was squeamish. He told me to man it up though I'm a female. I tried doing that, saying to myself "screw you, anxiety" but I ended up passing out.

Your suggestion actually worked for my dad, though. I told him about my LSAT debacle, and he told me he dealt with anxiety through the way you suggested.
Last edited by LSATNightmares on Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:27 am

Tautology wrote:
CastleRock wrote:I agree, all I am saying is that if you can't replicate the symptom its hard to tackle the problem head on.


I'll agree with the conditional statement, although if you can't replicate the symptom you don't really have a problem any more.


No, you can replicate the symptom. But the only way to do it may be taking real lsats. Therefore the only time you can face it head on is during the test, which is the worst time to do it.

Tautology
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby Tautology » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:35 am

LSATNightmares wrote:Thanks for your thoughts. But tackling it head on doesn't work for me. On a tangent, I was getting bloodwork done at the doctor's office, and I told the nurse practioner that I was squeamish. He told me to man it up though I'm a female. I tried doing that, saying to myself "screw you, anxiety" but I ended up passing out.

Your suggestion actually worked for my dad, though. I told him about my LSAT debacle, and he told me dealt with anxiety through the way you suggested.


Not being a trained psychologist or anything I don't want to belabor this too much, but I don't think you should give up on any strategy you try because it doesn't work the first time. If you're comfortable doing it go talk to a psychologist about it, there's nothing wrong with that.

And along the lines of your tangent, the first time I gave blood (not a huge fan of needles either) I got super nauseous while they were taking it and ended up throwing up on the doctor (I got some in the trash can) because they told me they can't use the blood unless they get the whole pint and I didn't want to stop it half way. I'm sure he wasn't pleased.

eternallearner
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby eternallearner » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:04 am

You mentioned that this kind of anxiety has never happened to you before. So I would assume that it is a situational kind of anxiety and not a permanent kind of anxiety. In other words, it is something about this test, (this June 2010 LSAT) that triggered this sleepless night, excessive increase in heart rate, etc.

If you have been a multiple-LSAT taker, I can definitely understand why you would be anxious: the added pressure to do well, approaching your LSAT retake ceiling, friends giving you questioning looks when you tell them that you have to re-study/re-take the exam. All this pressure translates to anxiety.

Should you have to re-take the LSAT again, you have to come up with specific strategies to deal with this specific feeling. For starters, think about Kim Yu-Na, the Olympic Gold medal champion. She knows that if she lost the game, there is a possibility that "the whole country will turn on her." All the sacrifice that her family made for her (and it is A LOT) would have been in vain. She basically devoted the last 19 years of her life for this moment. As corny/dramatic as it might seem, no one can deny the tremendous pressure that she was under. I lived in Korea for some time and understand the tremendous group think/collective feeling that permeates in that country---they can all love you but they can all hate you. She did not perform with the carefree attitude of "I am going to have fun on the skating ring." Rather, she performed with the attitude of "I have to win."

Most American/Russian ice skaters tend to crack under this kind of pressure (Sasha, Michelle, Iryna). As much as I have great respect for them, S/M/I gave me the naive impression that no skaters can transcend this kind of pressure. When Kim Yu Na took stage, I was sure that she was going to lose. I was sure that she will crack just like all the great skaters before her has done. However, she fulfilled her nation's expectation and cemented her place in the Time's 100 Influential List.

Tell yourself: She was under more pressure than I was. Yet, she transcended this kind of pressure. If she can do it, so can I.

Onto a different topic. I cannot stress the importance of proper diet. Eating meat (I don't mean fish) helps significantly with coping with stress. I usually do not eat the chicken skin. However, the night before the test/the morning of the test/the last few days before the test, I would eat the skin along with the meat. I also eat carbohydrate and unlimited amounts of delicious fruits (watermelon, strawberry, cherry, mango, etc.) For some reason, moderate fatty meat (steak, chicken with skin)/carbohydrate has a calming effect on my body. Eating those fruits added to my happiness. Happy=productive=satisfied.

I wish you well and may you discover ways to cope with your situation.

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nematoad
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby nematoad » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:16 am

Good diet, exercise, meditation (not easy by any means), centering yourself, putting shit in perspective. done.

LSATNightmares
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Re: How to overcome test anxiety?

Postby LSATNightmares » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:25 am

Thanks everyone for the advice. Sadly, I have a horrible diet due to an ulcer (another stress problem that developed after I got laid off from my job). Instead of meditation, I turned to prayer since I'm religious, but maybe I should see about meditation.

I really liked your story about the ice skater. Before I walked into the LSAT exam, I watched videos of my favorite athlete, Brazilian soccer star Ricardo Kaka. That guy came back from a broken neck and performed exceptionally well under pressure. I sort of thrive under pressure, as I had a successful speech and debate career. But I totally cracked under LSAT.

I think the problem was I lacked perspective. I was thinking, "I gotta get a 175 and get into Harvard." My fiance goes to grad school at Harvard, and I want to be close to him when we're married. Then there was all this pressure to perform perfectly, as I studied for months and have a crushed ego after getting laid off from my job due to the economy. I should have maintained perspective.

And again, thanks everyone for being so kind and not judging me about this. It definitely helps me feel better.




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