Replacing Negative Thoughts with Positive Thoughts
Is This You Before a Test?
|Are you thinking?||Challenge that thinking with this:|
|I never do well on tests.
||Sometimes I don’t do as well as I’d like on tests; I can only do the best I can today and get help before my next one.
|My mind always goes blank.
||My mind doesn't always go blank, but the more I think this, the harder it is to focus. I’ll just start reading the test again, write down anything I can recall, and move on to what I do know.
|I should have studied more.
||I can’t do anything about that now, but I can study more next time.
|This is half my grade; if I don’t pass, I might as well drop the class!
||Getting panicked now will only make things worse. I Just need to stay in the “now,” relax and do what I can.
|I can’t concentrate! I’m too stressed.
||I need to take a moment to slow down. I’ll take some deep breaths and remember that it is far easier to concentrate and retrieve information when I am calmer.
During the Test?
|When you think this:||Try this:|
|OMG! I don’t know any of this!
||I do know some of this and that is what I need to focus on.
|I’m running out of time, I’ll never finish.
||Don’t panic. Just keep going on the ones I do know.
|I’m going to fail.
||I don’t know that I will fail, but I will fail if I continue to think this. I just need to do the best I can!
|I can’t be the last one out. Last one out is the dumbest!
||Oh stop. The last one out is only the last one out. People who want to do their best are also sometimes last.
|I just can’t think…why did I ever take this course?
||I took this course because I need it! Now is not the time to get stuck in these thoughts. I’ll take a few deep breaths and do the best I can.
After the Test?
|When you think this...||Try this:|
|I’m just not cut out for college.
||It’s not so black and white. Neither one test nor one class will make or break my education. I need to focus on my strengths and work harder.
|I blew it. I feel like a failure.
||Feelings are not facts. Just because I feel like a failure doesn't mean I am a failure.
|I’ll never graduate on time and I’ll never get the kind of job I want.
||Never is an over generalization. I need to focus right now. One step at a time to work toward my goal. I’ll sit down with an adviser to figure out how to do better in the future.
|My family (boyfriend/girlfriend, teacher, etc.) will really be disappointed in me.
||Well, I’m disappointed too. I can only try to work harder to improve my grade. My family (etc.) will still be supportive of me.
If you feel that test anxiety is interfering with success ask for help! Contact the ACE Tutoring Center at 636-922-8444 or Christie Jackson, Mental Health Counselor, at 636-922-8571.