Help with Procrastination, Test Anxiety and other Study Skills Challenges

We all know that you can improve your physical skills with the help of a good athletics coach. But did you know that you can also improve your study skills and habits with the help of an Academic Skills Coach?

Maybe you’re struggling with time management and procrastination issues. Or maybe you feel panicked every time you sit down for an exam, or you get overwhelmed by the amount of reading you have to do each week. Stanford’s Academic Skills Coaches have developed an excellent website full of study tips, a skills inventory, and a weekly blog that guides you through the quarter. You can also meet with them individually to learn how to study and work more effectively.

Academic Skills Coaching website
Make an appointment with an Academic Skills Coach


We all know how these things happen. You get an assignment with a deadline a week or so out, but find yourself pulling an all-nighter the day before it is due, again...

Maybe you tell yourself:

  • You do your best under pressure.
  • You can't get started on a project unless you have enough time to do the whole thing at once.
  • You start work once everything is absolutely, perfectly, impossibly, ready.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Whatever story you've spun about procrastination, if you are tired of working at the last minute, or find that it is simply not working for you anymore, there are resources you can use to explore and address the underlying causes.

Consider making an appointment with an Academic Skills Coach to discuss your struggles with procrastination. Here are some words of wisdom on the subject by Academic Skills Coach Adina Glickman:

"In my book, procrastination does not entirely deserve its heinous reputation. True, procrastination is in many ways about avoidance, hesitance, even abject fear. But I say it’s also about problem-solving. Not your best problem-solving strategy, but an attempt nonetheless. What good does it do? In the moment, you are spared the anticipated stress of doing your work. Unfortunately, procrastination produces other stresses, like feeling guilty about not doing your work, feeling rushed because you are left with less time to do your work, and ultimately the worst of all worlds: not doing your best work because you’ve run out of time and are preoccupied by remorse and regret."

From "Wait wait I’m still procrastinating," The Duck Stops Here: Procrastination

Read more articles about Procrastination on The Duck Stops Here Blog

Managing Test Anxiety

Test anxiety got you down? Try some of these simple techniques from the Academic Skills Coaches to pace yourself and perform your best.

  • do some diaphragmatic breathing
  • warm-up beforehand with a question that’s familiar to you
  • break down big questions into several small questions
  • take a practice test with the same constraints as the real exam
  • remind yourself that a test is not a statement of who you are, but is in fact a blurry photo of a single moment in your intellectual journey

To hear more about how to de-stress during the test, check out this blog. You can also make an appointment with an academic skills coach to talk about more specific strategies customized for your needs.

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