Confidence can be defined as believing in yourself and your capabilities. Feeling confident about your ability to do well on a test is important because it will allow you to enter the exam room feeling self-assured and relaxed. Developing confidence in your test-taking abilities is a process, however, and it is not something that happens overnight. In most cases, you will come up with your own strategies over time, but here are a few simple ideas to get you started.
Before the test…
- Review a topic you feel confident about: The few minutes that you have before a test will not give you enough time to try to learn new information, but you can spend some of the time that you have reviewing a topic that you already know. Focusing on a topic that you know inside and out will help you reassure yourself that you are prepared and can boost your confidence immensely.
- Think positive thoughts: Thinking positively is not just a way to reduce anxiety; it can also help you to boost your confidence in your own abilities. Remind yourself of all the hard work that you did to prepare, and remind yourself of the fact that you know everything necessary to get a stellar grade on the test or exam.
During the test…
- Answer the questions that you know: Begin the test by answering at least a few questions that you know. This will help you feel more confident about your ability to do well on the test.
- Maintain a positive attitude throughout the test: No matter what happens during the test, try to maintain a positive attitude and continue to believe in yourself. If you don’t know a test question, remind yourself how well you answered some of the other questions, and reassure yourself that answering one question incorrectly is not likely to ruin your overall grade.
After the test…
- Focus on what you did well: When you get your test back, try to focus on the things that you did well, whether it was answering a difficult essay question or acing the multiple choice section.
- Reward yourself for your accomplishments: If you did well on a test, reward yourself with a night out, a dinner at your favorite restaurant, or a trip to the local art museum. Rewards can help boost your confidence by reminding you of your latest academic achievements and successes.