5 Tips to Help You Overcome Academic Anxiety

Jul 15, 2016 by

Jessica Mcneil

Jessica Mcneil

Learning any new skill can cause anxiety and schoolwork is no different. Learning puts you outside of your comfort zone, if it didn’t there would be no point in it. Rather than giving up out of fear of failure, or becoming overwhelmed by the volume of information presented, perseverance and a few simple strategies will make all the difference in mastering a subject and improve your chances of a successful academic career. Below are a few tips to help you get on top of your studies and keep your academic anxiety at bay.

Highlight Points of Difficulty

Deconstructing the material into its component parts and highlighting the points you struggle with can help you develop a strategy to tackle challenging material. Often when material is particularly abstract or complex, simply breaking it down will help to simplify the information in order to assimilate it in bite-sized pieces. Highlighting bits that are especially troublesome allows you to pay special attention to it and work on your weak points.

Connect With Your Teacher

Teachers are only human and as fair and professional as they may be, they may behave differently towards students with whom they are not familiar. Developing a rapport with your lecturers will increase your chance of receiving some extra attention you may need for a specific subject. Conversely, as a student, a good relationship with your teacher means that you will be more likely to invest the necessary time and effort into your course. Be sure to introduce yourself personally or send them a short introductory email at the start of the semester and set some time aside to talk to them outside of class about the coursework. Your willingness to invest in relationships with your teachers will show them that you are dedicated to your studies and make them more willing to help wherever they can. You may also find that they will be just that little bit more lenient with the occasional much-needed extension.

Utilize Online Resources

In the era of communication technologies, many students turn to the internet as a substitute for traditional classrooms. If learning online, as opposed to a lecture hall, is better suited to your learning-style, you might consider taking an online course. Many world class colleges and universities now offer programs to allow you to study from the comfort of your own home – or from anywhere in the world. Even if yours is a traditional course, find out if your class offers online support. Many lecturers now record their classes and upload them to the internet so that you can review them at your leisure or watch them at home in case you miss a class.

Learn By Teaching

Teaching other people some concepts you’re learning will help you assimilate the information faster by forcing you to approach the subject differently. Albert Einstein once said “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Teaching friends, fellow students or family members about what you’re learning will help you reformulate the information into the simplest terms possible and in doing so, will give you greater understanding of the subject.

Avoid Burnout

Sleep and regular breaks are crucial for adopting new skills and new information. While you sleep, your mind processes what you have learnt during the day. While all-night sessions might sound like a good idea to get in those extra study hours, your brain struggles to create new memories in a sleep deprived state and so this strategy has been proven to be ineffective. Making quality sleep a priority will ensure that your brain stays well-rested and more efficient at processing information. Regular breaks will help you to refocus when your mind becomes tired and begins to wander. Good study discipline includes scheduling short breaks and making sure you take them. If you’re feeling overloaded with work, pick your battles and consider getting some help with assignments from a friend or a professional writer. Remember to take time off once your study goals for the day have been reached and spend some time doing something you love so that you can return to your studies with a fresh mind in the morning.


Mastering a difficult subject takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. The confidence that comes with mastery will also make future learning much easier. The more you learn, the better you will become at the learning process itself, so stick to it and the benefits of mastering complex ideas and abstract theories will soon become apparent in whatever you do.


Author’s Bio:

Jessica Mcneil is a loving mother, passionate reader of classic literature and a writer. She enjoys exploring the world by travelling. When she is not catering for her family and her black cat, she writes short stories for her kids. Follow her on Twitter.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.