Test Anxiety


What is test anxiety?

Test anxiety is one of several types of anxiety that someone can go through when they have set high expectations or standards for tests/grades. Test anxiety is more than the feeling of nervousness about a test, this anxiety comes from different physical and emotional symptoms that restrict someone from doing their best on a test. When someone is so overwhelmed by these high expectations and standards, it can disadvantage them from focusing and doing their best and this could test anxiety.

Symptoms and Causes:

There are multiple different ways to tell if you have test anxiety. These symptoms can include fear of failing, high pressure/expectations, lack of preparation/procrastination, poor test taking, etc. The first symptom could be the fear of failure. Sometimes students fear failure whether it is because they don’t want to disappoint their parents/teachers or they don’t want to fail themselves. This ties into high expectations put on students to do well in school. Students can fear failure because of the high expectations put on them by teachers, parents, peers, other adults, and even themselves. Students often hear teachers talking about needing good grades, seeing other students with high grades, or even sometimes high-grade expectations on social media. This puts pressure on students when they feel they need to achieve those high grades, which creates an extreme fear of failure. Another cause for test anxiety can be a lack of preparation/procrastination. Kids our age are busy and have a lot going on that sometimes it is hard to complete school assignments. The last cause of test anxiety can be poor test taking. Some students are poor test takers, which means they know the material well and understand it but when it comes to the test they get so nervous that it affects their grades. It is hard to focus on a test when you know the material, but the thoughts of taking the test overpower your mind. 

Test Anxiety Tips

The most important thing to do before a test is to make sure you are prepared and have studied enough. A couple of ways to do this are by making flashcards, having someone quiz you, looking over notes, going in for extra help, practice with old exams. Studying and practicing will allow your brain to remember the information. Something you can do the night before you have a test is getting a good night’s rest. If you are able to get the recommended amount of sleep, 8-10 hours for teenagers, it will help you stay focused the next day. A great way to start off your day when you know you have a test is by getting a balanced and healthy breakfast. This will give you the right energy you need for the day. This could include berries, eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, fruit, whole wheat toast, etc. When taking a test, although it may be hard, it is important to try and keep a positive mindset. Having a positive mindset will gear your brain in the right direction so you can do the absolute best you can. While taking the test it may also help to only pay attention to what you are doing, not the people around you. Focusing on the other people in the room will distract you from what you need to accomplish.