Tips for BECE Candidates – Overcome YOUR test anxiety

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The day is soon to come (Monday,5th June, 2017). The exam we have waited for anxiously has come. After months and even years of preparation for some of us, it has finally arrived. The exam that has made teachers insult and cane us. We have lost valuable sleep over this exam. It has stretched us to our limit. For some of us, we just can’t wait to enter the exam hall and ‘blow’ the paper. We are so ready for it!

Others, though, may not feel that way. We don’t even know how it will go or what we are going to write.
Some of us fear for instance the Mathematics paper or the Science paper or maybe it’s the English paper. Whatever the case may be, we all have prepared to the best of our ability.




Haven gone through the normal schooling system in Ghana. I know that by now many of you have written several mock exams. Let’s take it that you were about writing the Math paper. The past week you had studied extremely hard for the paper. You could recite the different formulae off head. You see the invigilator come in with a stack of papers you know for sure are the exam papers. You see him start handing over the exam to your friends, you try to remember or go over what you studied in your head. What is the formula for compound interest again? You feel your palms getting wet. Sweat. Your heart beats faster.
You need to pass this exam. It’s the last mock. The previous mock, you didn’t do too well and you need to get 80% or more for your one to be secure because 70% is not good enough to get the school you want and for Mom and Dad…. Oh God! Help me!
Then, you start panicking.


What I just described is called exam anxiety or popularly known as test anxiety. This can be roughly defined as the fear of exam failure. This can cause even the best of students to fail exam, so it is very important to prevent it as much as possible.

Here are some tips to overcome your test anxiety.

>Be Prepared!

“Learn your material thoroughly and organize what materials you will need for the test.”-Study Guides and Strategies. Make a list of the exams. Know which comes first and the one you have most problems. Spend more time on those subjects. Some students choose to start from the bottom. That means they start learning from the last paper on the list. Others prefer to start with the first subject on the list. For instance, if English is the first paper to be written the person starts with that.

>Face the paper with confidence

Push aside negative thoughts. Instead of thinking “how am I even going to pass this exam when I failed the last mock.” Or “this is such a difficult subject, no matter how much I learn I can’t understand.” Think rather “this is something I have learnt, I have prepared well for the exam.” Avoid people who look anxious themselves or have negative thoughts about the exam. Look for the confident ones and go talk with them before the paper.
Focus on calming yourself down by breathing slowly when the paper is placed before you. Remember that the fear is all in your mind and you CAN control it

>Sleep and Eat Well

Yes! You saw it correctly. You need to rest well before the exam. You need to eat well before the exam. You may be feeling nervous before the paper and may not feel like eating anything but please do. Please no Coke or Sprite. Eat something heavier. Thinking and hungry stomach don’t go line in line.

>Don’t cram before the exam

Don’t attempt studying right before the exams. You will get confused and feel unprepared which would not be good for you. Don’t think studying just before the exams or looking at some apor right before the exam would help.
These few tips can help you with your fear and ensure that you are level-headed during the exam.

Don’t rely on apor. WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST.



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