How to Take the Stress out of Tests

By Estey Silva

Right before a test, final exams, or SATs, it seems like so many people are stressed out and complaining. But you don't have to join in. Consider this Bible verse: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done" (Phil 4:6 NLT).

You don't have to worry about being smart enough or learning all the information in time. Of course, being responsible by studying as much as you can is incredibly important. But do it with confidence, peace, and humility: "Be humble in the presence of God's mighty power, and he will honor you when the time comes. God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him" (1 Pet 5:6, 7 CEV).

Giving "all your worries" to God, trusting in God, and staying peaceful while you study will make the whole experience much more harmonious. You actually remember more and understand ideas more clearly when you're not freaking out at the same time!

I remember being really nervous before taking an AP History test in high school. My classmates and I had been preparing for this test all year, and I felt pressure to do well so I could get into the college I really wanted to attend.

One night after cramming in many chapters of reading and studying my notes for the 100th time, I felt it was time to take a break. It seemed counter-productive because I was so stressed about the exam the next morning.

But I realized I needed spiritual poise as much, if not more, than knowledge to get through this test successfully. So I closed my books, notes, and eyes. I didn't go to sleep. I tried to feel God's presence, right there with me. I felt it right away, comforting me.

I could feel my shoulders drop as a tremendous sense of peace came over me. Gratitude for God's guidance in preparing diligently for the test all year permeated my thoughts. I was thanking God for all He had already done for me, as the Bible verse directs. Stress and worry faded away, and I finally felt ready for the exam.

The next day, with that same spiritual confidence, I strode into the testing room, greeted my classmates, and took the test. I ended up doing very well—thank God!

We all can take the stress out of test-taking:

  • Take time to pray: Take a prayer break.
  • Tell God what you need.
  • Don't worry about anything.
  • Turn your worries over to God.
  • Be humble in God's presence.
  • Be grateful for all that God has done and is doing for you.

Watch the difference such a change makes.