Hello! There are hundreds of ways to address text anxiety, so I would encourage you to keep trying different approaches until you find one that works for you.
1. Preparation: What kind of test is this? Knowing the format of a test lets you understand what information and skills are valuable for the test. Studying for a multiple choice test is very different from studying for an in-class essay. Email or stop in to see your teacher and find out what sort of test you are taking. It may be helpful to explain that you have test anxiety for him/her to understand why you are there.
2. Preparation: What do I know about the book? This is a summer reading test, which I assume is on a book you had to read over the summer. To prepare, go through your knowledge of the book. Here are some sample questions you can ask yourself to review key information:
- Who are the protagonists (main characters)? What are their relationships with each other?
- Who are the antagonists (main villains)? What makes these people/this person a villain?
- Where does this story take place? When does it take place?
- What is the main conflict of the story? What sort of struggle is the protagonist up against, or what sort of task does he/she have to accomplish?
- Can you identify any main ideas or concepts that this book seems to be about (example: friendship, growing up, forgiveness, accepting difference)?
- Is there any sort of phrase or object that appears again and again in the book? If so, why does it keep reappearing? What makes it important?
3. Preparation: Getting ready to take the test Avoid the urge to put off studying until the last possible minute. If you are the kind of person who likes talking to others, find a study buddy from class who you can talk to about the book. If you need silence to concentrate, make up some flashcards and flip through them. The night before the test, make sure that you assign yourself studying time: you get half an hour, and then you have another half hour to decompress before you go to bed. Remember - actually go to bed. Exhaustion makes anxiety 100x worse.
4. Taking the Test Try to arrive early to the test site, and make sure ahead of time that you have everything you will need: pencil, eraser, scrap paper, water, a snack, stress ball - whatever floats your boat! While you are there, take your time. Read each question carefully and take time to think about your response. Many students read quickly and don't even answer the question that the test is asking - they answer a question that they think the test is asking. Don't make that mistake!
5. After the Test Meet with your teacher! Ask for feedback on your performance and for advice on future tests. A little proactive conversation goes a long way to ensuring your next test will be better and less stressful.