7 Ways to Reduce Your Language Testing Anxiety

You have a big test coming up, and you want to perform well. But if your mind is clouded with anxiety about your performance, it can be difficult for you to focus on the task at hand.

Anxiety doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of your language testing experience. With careful preparation and a hearty dose of self-care, you can approach your test in a calmer state of mind. Try out these tips and you’ll be on your way to a positive and productive language testing experience:

  1. Once you set your test date, formulate a solid preparation schedule… and stick to it. As soon as your test date is scheduled, if you plan to study or practice, make sure to plan out your study schedule. A well-planned schedule will allot sufficient time to cover the entire range of material, as well as providing review time for tricky topics.

  2. Use the methods of studying that work for you. All language learners can benefit from individualized tutoring. Additionally, some learners enjoy the structured review of flash cards. Others might like to immerse themselves in the culture of their target language, watching foreign videos or listening to international radio to feel the cadence of the language. Whatever your preferred method, we recommend reviewing our Test Prep for a description of the test and some sample questions.

  3. Enjoy exercise breaks while studying. Burn off some of your adrenaline with a healthy dose of physical activity. Studies have shown that exercise may help people deal more effectively with stress. You can make exercise a part of your study routine by taking exercise breaks after a predetermined chunk of studying. Set your timer for thirty minutes of review time, then enjoy a short walk or even a dance around the room.

  4. Get some light exercise before your language test. You might feel jumpy or jittery in the hours leading up to your test. Try and get some exercise to calm your body before you’ll need to sit and work.

  5. Don’t skimp on shut-eye. If you don’t get enough sleep, it might be hard for you to form a coherent sentence in your native tongue, let alone a foreign language. Don’t pull all-nighters or stay up too late studying; these approaches might backfire as your brain struggles to keep up with your language demands and emotions.

  6. Cut down on caffeine. Too much caffeine before a test can make you jittery, and you might find it difficult to sit still for the testing session. You definitely want to be alert for your test, but don’t put yourself into anxious overdrive with an excessive amount of coffee, tea, or energy drinks.

  7. Practice mindfulness techniques to help you be in the moment.Anxiety can often be caused by racing, future-fearing thoughts. Make it a regular practice to stay in the present moment and you’ll be less likely to suffer from acute test anxiety. Studies show that mindful meditation can decrease anxiety and other mood issues. You don’t need special equipment or clothing in order to practice mindful meditation, but you do need a willingness to try something new.

ALTA Language offers certified language proficiency tests and language testing services in over 100 languages from around the world. Our goal is to make your language testing experience the best it can be. If you would like to learn more about our testing services, please call 888-624-6165 or request information here.


Danielle Martin has taught multiple subjects to students in three different states. She previously spent time as a literary agent’s assistant and video editor. Danielle writes about education, health, and lifestyle topics, and she also enjoys writing fiction.

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