How To Deal With Brain Freeze During a Test

Last updated on November 27, 2017

Brain freeze in a common occurrence during tests in classrooms. It is important to get yourself moving again lest you fail an exam in which you know the answers.

Consider the following strategies:

Take a moment to regroup

When students get brain freeze sometimes they panic. They may try to frantically think of everything, but the more they do this, the more they may become paralyzed.

Oftentimes it is worth it to take a moment to calm yourself. Try to clear your mind and stop trying to remember for a few seconds or even minutes if you have the time. Relax and get your emotions under control. Don’t take too long (especially if you are running out of time) but this moment might be enough. Take deep breaths.

When you are ready to go back to the test, you may find that you have regained your ability to think.

Look over the rest of the test

Often you will see other questions on the test that may jog your memory. You can look over the questions you have already answered and even future ones. Sometimes the answer to one question is actually in the question portion of another! Just seeing different keywords and topics may get you started again.

Skip that particular question

If there is one particular question that has induced your brain freeze, then you might want to skip it for now. A lot of times the answer will spontaneously come to you later. Also, if you keep going, then you might be able to finish the rest of the test okay and just miss out on the one question. If you just stay at that one question, you could potentially run out of time and then miss a lot of the questions.

Start writing things down

You may help remember if you just start writing things down. You can write down topics related to that question or just the subject in general. Write what you think the answer might be. When you get started, you may find that your brain freeze subsides and you think of good things to add to your answer.

Think about your study sessions

Try to think back to when you studied for the test or even just to your class time. Think about assignments you did in class and homework you completed. Think about the questions and answers you might have answered.

Don’t panic when brain freeze comes during a test. Instead, consider the above strategies to help you regain your wits.


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