Do you sweat, chew your pencil, and feel butterflies in your stomach as your teacher hands out a test? A lot of people (adults included) get freaked out when it's time to take a test. It's natural to feel some stress about taking tests. In fact, sometimes a little adrenaline (a hormone made by your body during times of excitement or stress) is a good thing to jump-start you. Here are some tips for taking tests: First, be sure you've studied properly. It sounds like a no-brainer, but if you're sure of the information, you'll have less reason to be worried. Get enough sleep the night before the test. Your memory recall will be much better if you've had enough rest. In a scientific study, people who got enough sleep before taking a math test did better than those who stayed up all night studying. Listen closely to any instructions. As the teacher hands out the test, be sure you know what's expected of you. Read the test through first. Once you have the test paper in front of you, read over the entire test, checking out how long it is and all the parts that you are expected to complete. This will let you estimate how much time you have for each section and ask the teacher any questions. If something seems unclear before you start, don't panic: ask. Focus on addressing each question individually. As you take the test, if you don't know an answer, don't obsess over it. Instead, answer the best way you can or skip over the question and come back to it after you've answered other questions. Relax. If you're so nervous that you blank out, you might need a mini-break. Of course you can't get up and move around in the middle of a test, but you can wiggle your fingers and toes, take four or five deep breaths, or picture yourself on a beach or some other calm place. As we all know, it can be easy to forget things we know well — like a locker combination. The difference is we know we'll remember our locker combination because we've used it hundreds of times, so we don't panic and the combination number eventually comes back. During a test, if you blank out on something and start to get tense, it suddenly becomes much more difficult to remember. Finished already? Although most teachers will let you hand a test in early, it's usually a good idea to spend any extra time checking over your work. You also can add details that you may not have thought you'd have time for. On the other hand, if you have 5 minutes until the bell rings and you're still writing, wind up whatever you're working on without panicking. These tips should help most people, but some can get serious test-taking terror. If you're one of them, you may need to talk to a parent, teacher, or counselor for help. Good luck! Back to Articles Related Articles Note-Taking Tips Want to stay on top of your schoolwork by taking great notes? Here's how! Read More How to Make Homework Less Work Having trouble getting a handle on all of your homework? Get your work space set, your schedule organized, and your studying done with the help of this article. Read More Studying for Tests You have a history test tomorrow, a math test the next day, and weekly French pop quizzes. Don't panic - our article provides tips on how to study. Read More Organizing Schoolwork & Assignments It's not just for school: Mastering the skills of getting organized, staying focused, and seeing work through to the end will help in just about everything you do. Read More Writing a Paper Writing a paper can seem intimidating at first. But putting together a good paper really just involves a combination of things you already know how to do. Here are some tips. Read More Test Anxiety Everyone feels a little nervous and stressed before a test. And a touch of nervous anticipation can actually help keep you at peak performance. But for some people, this normal anxiety is more intense. Read More Homework Help Writing a report? Studying for a test? Having problems at school? Get tips and advice. Read More 5 Ways to Make Online Research Easier When researching school projects, it helps to know how to evaluate and choose online resources. Here are tips. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.