Everyone has experienced the jitters before taking an important test at school or at work, but a study showed that apart from preparing for the exam, you can subdue the anxiety and help boost the test results by spending a moment beforehand and actually writing down the things which are worrying you.
The study found that the students who took the time to write down their worries right before the exam, actually proved to “clear” their minds and help themselves cope with the pressure of the test. A stunning 20% of the students who did this were found to achieve better grades on the exam. The probable explanation for this correlation is that the working memory, necessary for taking the test, is stored in a sort of mental “notepad” in the brain – the prefrontal cortex. The problem with this memory “notepad” is that it can become crammed with additional worries and anxiety, which can hinder the access to the necessary knowledge stored there.
So, as the research team concluded, the best way to clear out the unnecessary worries and anxious thoughts from the prefrontal cortex is to literally clear it out by writing down everything that worries you right before the important exam. This will let the brain do its job and will actually help you improve your performance.