Test Anxiety

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Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety 

Exams are here, you’ve studied every subject over and over again, you feel confident in everything. Then you freeze, your mind goes blank, your heart starts racing and you feel so anxious that you can’t remember anything. 

Feeling anxious or nervous before a test or exam is very common and also very normal. Nervousness can actually help with performance in these situations. Test anxiety can greatly effect students and hinder their learning process. Students who suffer from it can see school as a negative because the exams and tests bring them so much stress. There a lot of things you can do to help with test anxiety and become more comfortable when faced with your exam. 

What is test anxiety?

Test anxiety can also be known as performance anxiety. When the pressure is on you to
preform that is when the anxiety sets in. It is when a test or exam students feel so overwhelming that feelings turn into fear and dread. Students can struggle with test anxiety at any age or grade. 

Symptoms of Test Anxiety 

Test anxiety can affect you physically, emotionally and behaviourally and it can affect every individual differently. Some students experience mild symptoms, where as others can be affected more seriously. Here are some symptoms that may come with test anxiety:

Physical symptoms: 

  • Sweating
  • Nausea 
  • Shaking 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Stomach ache 
  • ‘butterflies’
  • Panic attack

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Anger and guilt
  • Feelings that ‘you aren’t good enough’ or ‘smart enough’
  • Feelings of hopelessness 

Behavioural/Cognitive Symptoms:

  • Negative self-talk
  • Substance abuse 
  • “blanking out”
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Dropping the class or out of school 

Causes of Test Anxiety 

  • Fear of failure – fearing that you might fail the exam or not get the grade you want can cause more anxiety that was there in the first place. 
  • Not being prepared – lacking to prepare for an exam can cause you to stress, whether you did not have enough time to study or if you left it until the last minute. 
  • Poor test grades in the past – one bad test can effect all of your tests in the future because you tell your self “I did bad last time why should this time be any different?”

How We Can Help

Getting help for test anxiety is very similar for general anxiety. In our clinic we use techniques such as, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) along with personalized tools and
strategies. We can help with test anxiety for children, teens and adults. In both play therapy and counselling, you can work to change the way you think about tests and how you approach them in order to calm the anxiety. Counselling can also assist at making plans and strategies to do before exams and tests to help better prepare and ease the feelings of anxiety. 

If exam season is causing more anxious feelings for you, please call us to get more information at 705-735-9107!