Praying before and during a test can help overcome test anxiety. Test anxiety affects everyone depending on how much pressure is felt to make a good grade. Test anxiety can range from mild to severe. When test anxiety is severe, studies show that students receive scores lower than those of other students who do not feel nervous, physically ill or distracted during a test. Test anxiety can occur in school, in college or in the work place.
Here is a prayer for you that can be prayed before the test and also has short, one-sentence prayers that can be prayed during the test to help you feel calmer and more focused.
Test Anxiety Prayer Using Scriptures
Repeat the following Scripture to begin the prayer:
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23 NIV
Lord, I thank you that you know my heart and my thoughts. I thank you that you are the Good Teacher and that You do not need to test me in high pressure situations where I’m nervous about whether I’ll be able to perform well. Instead you know my true talents, my character and my capabilities. You know the hours of study I have put in and you know how well I understand the material for the upcoming test. It comforts me that you know my anxious thoughts and take them into account. I open myself up to you and your complete knowledge of everything I think and worry about.
I pray that during the test if I begin to feel anxious that you will remind me to pray, “Lord, you know my thoughts and my true capabilities.”
As I pray this with confidence, I will do it based on the truth you tell me in the Bible about how well you know my thoughts:
“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” Psalm 139:2
I pray that if during the test of my mind seems to go blank that you will remind me to pray: “Lord, remind me of everything I need to remember.”
As I pray this with confidence, I will do it based on the truth you tell me in the Bible about your ability to remind me of all things:
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 NIV
I pray that if during the test I begin experiencing physical symptoms of nerves like a headache or feeling sweaty and anxious that you will remind me to pray: “Lord, heal all of my diseases.”
As I pray this with confidence, I will do it based on the truth you tell me in the Bible about your ability to heal my body.
“God forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:3 NIV
I pray that if during the test I become so wrapped up in distractions either inside my head or outside as I watch the clock or compare myself to other students who seem to be breezing through the test that you will remind me to pray, “Lord, keep my mind on track.”
As I pray this with confidence, I will do it based on the truth you tell me in the Bible about your ability to help us keep our minds focused.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
I pray that if I get a test result back where test anxiety caused me to make a grade that doesn’t reflect my mastery and knowledge of the subject, I pray that you will give me the courage and wisdom as to whether to speak with my teacher, professor or supervisor about the problems I experienced. Please guide me whether to ask for advice on earning extra credit or getting help on study habits or test taking skills and strategies. I will pray, “Lord, show me how to recover and be restored.”
As I pray this with confidence, I do it based on the truth that you are a God of second chances, based on what the Bible says about your ability to redeem and restore.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” I Peter 5:10
Most of all, I thank you that no matter what my hopes, dreams, challenges and fears are, the closer I become to you and the more I learn to depend on you, the more confident I will become that you are there with me in all stressful situations of my life.
Research on Test Anxiety behind this Prayer
This prayer covers what researchers term the 3 dimensions of test anxiety:
Worrying about failing the test
The actual physical sensations you might feel during the test that are symptoms of your anxiety (examples heart beating faster, palms sweating)
Distractions during the test that are often nervous habits that cause you to lose focus
Useful treatments include therapy that helps you overcome negative thought patterns that are interfering with your ability to perform well on tests. Also, there are classes and groups to help you become more confident in your study skills and testing skills.
Experts are currently looking into the problem of test anxiety and its causes. For instance, studies on the topic of math anxiety show nearly half of all Americans suffer from a feeling that they are not “good” at math. According to Jo Boaler, professor of mathematics education at Stanford University, this probably originates from the timed test drills in elementary school where you must quickly write down the answers to addition or multiplication problems. Educators are now discovering that this causes students to simply memorize facts without really understanding the concept of the mathematical principles. Understanding and appreciating these principles is crucial later on in higher math which is conceptual in nature. Making matters worse, brain researchers have also found that under pressure, memorized facts become blocked by the testing worries, causing the students to lose confidence in their abilities.
Other Helpful Links
Final exam prayer with scriptures
College stress prayer strategy
Finding your personal meditation and prayer place at college
Overcoming procrastination prayer
Anxiety calming prayer
Fear of public speaking prayer
Copyright Karen Barber 2014. All rights reserved.
Omnipotent, Omnipresent Father, we humble ourselves before You, oh Lord, requesting Your Holy presence. Walk beside us Lord, as our exam results are approaching. The work has already been done, we placed our best foot forward, we studied hard, and we have released doubt and fear into Your hands.
Psalm 34:10b Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Psalm 37:3-5, 7a Trust in the Lord and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him.
Ease the minds of those of us who are thinking that we didn’t study as hard as we should have, dear God. Help us to be reminded that whatever the outcome, You have called us to be the head and not the tail.
Help us to be guided accordingly from thereon if we do not obtain the results we desire, knowing that if we decide to go through with it again, we would do the best that we can, trusting You along the way.
Psalm 62:1-2 – My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
GOD did not give us a spirit of fear but of POWER, of LOVE and of self-discipline. – 2 Tim 1:7 Click To Tweet
Give us peace in our hearts, our bodies, our minds, our souls, as we wait patiently and with confidence, knowing that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord. Let worry, fear and doubt flee at the sound of Your great name.
Grant us favor, Loving Father, in the eyes of the examiners. We put our uttermost faith and trust in You to lead us to victory, in Jesus mighty name we pray, Amen and Amen!
Psalm 8 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his son is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
I’m a young Christian, from South Trinidad, seeking the wisdom of the Word and God’s blessings on my life. A journey, that’s just begun, but living to the Glory of God.
Putting theory into practice is always a little hairy. We may have great intentions and try to follow the advice of the experts, but our implementation often falls short.
That’s how I was with taking breaks: I knew it was something I needed to do to stay effective, but it was a major stumbling block for me.
That is, until I started using one simple trick which skyrocketed my productivity.
The Allure of Breaks
The modern time management wisdom says that intentionally taking breaks will allow you to refresh your focus, enabling you to concentrate harder and get more done.
Entire work models have been built around organized break-taking. For instance, the Pomodoro Technique has workers focusing intensely for 25 minutes, then taking a break for five minutes, then working for another 25 minutes, then another break, etc.
Taking breaks is said to be the key to remaining creative. Break time can also serve as motivation when you reward yourself with a little fun after some unpleasant or difficult task.
And it’s just common sense. No one can work at 100% all the time.
Breaks are necessary. Breaks are powerful.
The Problem with Breaks
But timing is an issue with breaks. Exactly when do you take a break – and for how long do you relax?
My problem was that my little breaks here and there quickly became not so little. Taking a breather for a minute or two quickly turned into surfing the internet for 10 minutes.
And when should you take breaks? I was simply doing it whenever I was frustrated or whenever I could convince myself that I needed to pause. Down inside, I knew that a lot of my breaks were simply just me procrastinating on something I didn’t want to do. Sometimes it was just a craving for entertainment. But a lot of times, it was hard to tell if taking a coffee break was honestly the best thing to do.
I could see the damage that this was having on my productivity. Sometimes things just clicked and tasks were finished quickly. Other times, something that would normally take me three hours would take me five hours as I took regular (and extended) resting periods to try and get back into the zone.
I knew that breaks were necessary and that they had the potential to be helpful if done correctly. But how could I harness the good parts and throw out the frivolous breaks that just wasted my time?
The Apple Test
One day, it hit me. I remembered this old weight loss trick I had heard long ago: When you get in the mood for chocolate or junk food, how do you tell if you’re truly hungry or whether you’re just jonesing for some junk?
You use the Apple Test. Ask yourself if you would have the same hunger if you were going to eat an apple instead of sweets. If your level of hunger subsides, you know it was just a craving. If you honestly are still hungry, then get something to eat!
So why not use a similar technique for taking breaks?
The Prayer Test
I came up with the Prayer Test.
When I feel like taking a break, I ask myself if I would have the same desire to take a break if I were going to pray for the entire time instead of surfing the internet or reading a few blogs.
If I still have the same urge to relax if I’ll be praying, then I can have a good sense that my need for a break is real and not just some fleeting desire for entertainment or procrastination.
I decided to experiment with the Prayer Test for a few days, and here’s what I learned:
I’d love for you guys to give this a shot and let me know how it works for you.
And if you have any modifications or improvements, let me know too!
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