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It’s Only a Test

It’s March and for many students and their families, it is the season of midterms and Spring Break. Test anxiety is in the air. A worried student may say, “I hope I don’t fail this test.” The problem is that the subconscious doesn’t process language well but does work with actions, senses, feelings and images. A classic example is “Don’t think of a white elephant,” and the common result is visualizing a white elephant. The student’s subconscious hears “fail this test” and responds, “we can fail this test, we’ve failed lots of tests, let’s do this.” A better approach would be to think and say, “I can pass this test, I will pass this test,” and while taking the test, “I am passing this test.”

Just like struggling to remember a name or some fact, the harder one tries, the harder it is to come up with the answer. When the conscious mind is distracted with something else or falls asleep, the answer magically appears. It was safely stored in the subconscious the whole time. Trying too hard during a test actually makes it more difficult to remember, while being calm makes it easier.

For some tests, a technique to bring the mind to a calm place is to close the eyes and take a deep breath before reading each question. Often, if the student has studied the material, the answer will be right there. If not, repeat the process or continue to the next question. Often, a subsequent question will either have the answer as part of the question or will trigger a memory of the solution. (This technique only works if the student has actually looked at the material. Learning by osmosis is not a proven strategy for success.)

Looking at the big picture can take the pressure off most tests. Typically, any one test does not determine the course of one’s life, and 91% is still an “A.” In the real world, outside of school, most employers don’t care about GPAs or where someone ranked in their class. Employers want to know if the applicant can do the job and that often includes things that aren’t measured by tests, such as people skills and the ability to be calm under pressure.

So, take a nice deep breath and it’s off to Spring Break. FBN

By Don Berlyn

For more information on becoming more positive, recovering goals or anything related to using the power of the mind contact Don Berlyn at 928-699-8263, flaghypno@gmail.com or FlagstaffHypnotherapy.com. Consultations are always free!


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