According to recent scholarship, “test anxiety has a negative impact on learning, is a major cause for underachievement, and prevents some students from reaching their academic potential” (Cho, Ryu, Noh, & Lee, 2016). Most adult learners would candidly admit that test-taking unfortunately does not make their top-five list of favorite things to do. However, if one is to strive for higher goals academically, it is simply one of the rites of passage that every high-achieving scholar and professional must undergo.
In recognizing that the call to rise to the occasion will most likely not subside, what can scholars do take some of the edge off of the mere idea of test-taking? Recent studies suggest that mindful breathing techniques not only largely reduce test-taking anxiety, but also help scholars to cultivate a greater sense of optimism (Cho, Ryu, Noh, & Lee, 2016). Students who engaged in daily mindful breathing exercises cited observable shifts in their thinking; the exercises actually helped to yield more positive thoughts, something that every adult learner can benefit from!
So, as you prepare for your upcoming rites of passage – GRE or GMAT, perhaps (are your palms sweating already?) – bear in mind that there are solutions at your disposal. Be encouraged! In addition to preparing for the rigors of the test through your Success Prep preparatory course, also remember to take 10 minutes per day to breeeaaaathhhe – literally! Smile, learner, you are well on your way.
Cho, H., Ryu, S., Noh, J., & Lee, J. (2016). The effectiveness of daily mindful breathing practices on test anxiety of students. PLoS ONE, 11(10), 1-10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164822