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TOEFL Tip #119: Know Your Signs Of Nervousness

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on September 16, 2011

Two weeks ago, we talked about converting nervousness you might feel at the TOEFL exam into excitement. If you think of the test as a series of fun challenges, you are more likely to perform well.

But how can you tell if you’re feeling nervous?

We usually associate nervousness with certain responses in body. Tensing your muscles, shrugging your shoulders, tapping your fingers or bouncing your foot very quickly, crinkling your forehead, and playing with your hair are all signs of anxiety. While you might not realize that you’re nervous, if you notice that you’re doing one or more of these physical behaviors, you very likely are.

So how can you calm down?

If you’re sitting at the test station and you’re in the middle of a section, take a few seconds to breathe in deeply, and exhale slowly. Do this several times, as often as necessary. Also try stretching your legs out as far as possible. Force yourself to lower your shoulders, and roll them back. If the TOEFL exam hasn’t started yet, or you’re on the short break, take the opportunity to walk around a little bit. Do some toe-touches, deep knee bends, or any other stretches that you can comfortably perform. Likewise, if you practice yoga, select one or two positions that you can easily do in the lobby. Whatever you choose to do, the main idea is the same – to ease your muscle tension and lower your heart rate, which will allow you to concentrate on the exam.

As you prepare for the TOEFL, take note of your particular signs of nervousness, and practice relaxing in whichever way works best for you.


Categories: Test day,TOEFL Preparation

2 comments so far. Leave a comment.

  1. Toni

    wrote on September 18, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Good advice to work on relaxation during the TOEFL. I think the key is to practice a lot like you would take the test..

  2. StrictlyEnglish | Blog » The Year In Review

    wrote on December 31, 2011 at 10:19 am

    [...] with notes and with distractions, the difference between practice speed and performance speed, recognizing signs of nervousness and converting nervousness into excitement. We also did a post about Strictly English’s [...]

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