Sitting in a testing room, even with your exam accommodations in place, can be stressful.

Remember that accommodations don't guarantee success on your exams; they help give you equal access to the test - the rest is up to you.

"Test Taking Tips: Get Your Head in the Game" from Beyond Accommodations is a worksheet that you can download to use as you get ready for upcoming exams. A few tips from that include:

Before your exam:

  • Wake up at least an 1 1/2 hours before, and eat an hour before, your exam time.
  • Gather the materials you'll need for the exam like pencils, pens, calculator
  • Remember any stress-reduction strategies you have


  • Write down any information you're worried you'll forget on the first page of the exam, or scratch paper if allowed.
  • Take breaks: every 20-30 minutes, take at least a 30-second break to look away, stretch, stand up and sit down, close your eyes and count to 30, etc.
  • Know your stress signs
  • Deal with distractions


When you get the exam back, look at the areas and items that you were most successful in, and those that your weren't. That will help you to target your study for the next test.

Sample tips for managing exam-related stress from Dartmouth College

Check your campus Health Services as well for tips and assistance with test-taking and other college stress.

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