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TOEFL Reading: How to handle stress?

TOEFL Reading: How to handle stress?

By / Feb 13, 2019

TOEFL Reading stress

Hey! Welcome back!

The other day, we talked about reading and how you donít need to read the entire passage. Well, that should hopefully help you. Remember, give each passage a skim by reading the first paragraph, first sentence of all the other paragraphs and the entire concluding paragraph. Now, while this is a good strategy, I will have students ask me what they can do when they come across a passage that is boring, itís a subject they donít like or find difficult. Often, they tell me that they end up reading the entire passage and at times they will read it entirely twice.

So, what can you do if you are faced with such a passage and I can almost guarantee that you will get such a passage? Thatís actually a great question and it is something that both myself and my students have been trying to figure out.

First of all, this is a test and you are already stressed because of it. The first thing I suggest is to pay attention to how you feel. When you feel like you are getting frustrated or come across a passage that is boring or difficult is to stop for a moment. At that point, acknowledge how you feel and take one or two deep breaths through your nose and then exhale out of your mouth. This is a good stress reduction technique and a way to ground yourself. While taking that breath, relax and refocus. Focus your intention on completing the passage and this portion of the test.

Another thing you can do is to change your perspective or your frame of mind. Instead of thinking that this is a test, pretend that it is a game. The object of the game is to collect all of the correct answers. Another way is to think of it as a treasure hunt where the answers are the treasure. One nice thing about the questions for reading is that they follow the paragraphs very closely. This you can view as your map to find the treasure.

Now, by changing your frame of mind in the sense I just talked about does not mean you shouldnít take the reading section or any part of the test lightly. You still need to be very serious. The idea is if you can bring a sense of fun and enjoyment than any stress you are feeling should hopefully be reduced.

Think of it this way. Top athletes are very focused on their sport. They are the top athletics not just because they are good at what they do, but because they enjoy what they do and they have fun doing it. If they didnít enjoy their sport, they wouldnít be playing. Iím sure Sachin Tendulkar would agree.

The bottom line is this, when it comes to a difficult situation on the test, such as coming across a passage you find boring or difficult, stop, relax and refocus. If you need to, change your perspective and add a sense of fun to it. It could make all the difference.

If any of you have any further suggestions, I would love to hear them. Please email me with your thoughts, suggestions and comments to martin.v@tcyonline.com. I would love to hear what you think and perhaps I may feature your ideas here.

Did you know that if you are well prepared for the test, your stress levels would be low? Subscribe to any of our convenient subscription plans are get access to all our TOEFL Tests. This will definitely keep your stress at bay.

All the best to you!

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Last updated on : May 24, 2022