How to Combat a Mid-Test Freakout

CliffsNotes October 17, 2014



You’ve studied all week. Last night you got a good night’s sleep. This morning you ate a hardy breakfast. You’re hydrated, alert, and have the sharpest pencils in the class. In other words, you are READY. FOR. THIS. TEST.

Whether it be your weekly Algebra II test, the AP U.S. History exam, or the SATs, you feel confident and ready to take this test. Your teacher or proctor walks into the room and hands out the exam. Papers are flipped over, shuffled, and everyone settles in to get down to business.

After confidently writing your name, you read the first question. Okay – you’re not positive of the answer, so you briefly scan question two. OMG you don’t even know what half of the words mean in this question. You frantically flip to the second page…THERE IS A DIAGRAM??? You didn’t study any diagrams! And then it happens. The mid-test freak out.

But good news! Instead of suffering the mid-test freak out this second – you are reading this blog post. After following these seven simple steps, you’ll be ready to defeat even the most daunting Mid-Test Freak Out…

Steps to Combat a Mid-Test Freak Out


  2. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Deep breathing slows your racing heart (no point in denying it, we know your heart is racing).

  3. Put it in perspective: this test is not life or death. This is not The Hunger Games.

  4. Now that you’ve grounded yourself and separated yourself from Katniss in the arena, slap a smile on your face—physically smiling is known to improve your mood—and take a second look at the exam.

  5. Glance through the entire test or allotted section. Find a question you know the answer to—there IS going to be one (and most likely, plenty more).

  6. Remember that you studied. You skipped Game of Thrones this week to prep for this test. The knowledge is swimming in your head somewhere because you studied.

  7. Get back to taking that test. You’re now more relaxed, a little more confident, and know that a pack of rabid mutant wolves will not eat you if you do not do well on this exam.

Life happens— sometimes we blank on tests and don’t do well. No one test is going to mete out the success and happiness for the rest of your life. So don’t panic, do the best you can, and know the Mid-Test Freak Out has happened to the best of us.

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