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Test Anxiety

In the life of every student, exams are usually one of the stressful events to go through. Most often than not, we feel anxious every time examination periods are about to come. It is normal for most students to experience some levels of anxiety during exams. It common to all the students and I am sure that we had our own share of anxiety during exams, hadn’t we? Anxiety is a human’s natural response to a stressful situation. The test anxiety can become a powerful motivator; it can make you study harder to be able to excel. But, if this test anxiety starts to affect exam performance it has become a problem.

 The symptoms of test anxiety are but not limited to:

  • Physical – headaches, nausea, or diarrhea, extreme body temperature changes, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, light-headedness or fainting, rapid heart beat, and/dry mouth, tense muscle
  • Emotional – excessive feelings of disappointment, anger, depression, uncomfortable crying or laughing
  • Behavioral – fidgeting, pacing, substance abuse, avoidance
  • Cognitive – racing thoughts, going blank, difficulty concentrating, negative self-talk, feelings of dread, comparing yourself to others, difficulty organizing your thoughts.

The probable causes of test anxiety can be lack of preparation indicated by cramming the night before the exam, poor time management, failure to organize text information, poor study habits; or, worrying about previous performance on exams, how other students are doing, the negative consequences of failure.

For the better part, there are several techniques that can be done to control your test anxiety, and these are:

  • Preparation –  study and know the material well enough so that you can still recall even if you are under stress, develop good study habits, get enough rest, exercise, attend classes regularly and complete all assignments, participate in all practical tests
  • Keep a positive attitude – develop logical expectations, do not allow your grades affect the outcome of your exams, avoid negative and devastating results, set up a system of reward to yourself for good results, encourage yourself.
  • Relaxation techniques – proper breathing exercises, imagery and visualization, muscle relaxation techniques can help increase your concentration, don’t come too early for you might get distracted, and make sure you have everything you need

I n times when you start feeling overwhelmed or when the fear comes, just pause and do the proper breathing techniques as they can help you calm down, and then keep focus on the present. Don’t try to eliminate your fear totally, just keep it manageable. Convince yourself that you can shake away your fear. Divert your attention or thoughts from fear, or find something to keep fear out of your mind.

There are several factors that can affect the efficiency of you study time. Make sure that your place of study is quiet, no interruptions, comfortable, clean, well facilitated, and with comfortable temperature. A study without distractions can make you concentrate more; therefore, test anxiety can be lessen if not eliminated.

Test anxiety can be successfully managed depending on the level of your willingness. If your mindset is having control over your anxiety, your chances to success is great!

This article is provided courtesy of Roxanne Courtmanch.  Please visit www.thehelpingcircle.com for more articles on anxiety as well as many other topics that may be of interest to you.


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