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Test Anxiety: How to Cope with it?

In this article, you’ll learn how you can reduce your anxiety on the day of assessment, but first, what is test anxiety, and how can one recognize it?

Hiba Youcefi
Hiba Youcefi
Book lesson

You’ve done all of your assignments, and you are aware that you have thoroughly grasped the material. Yet, as the day of the test approaches, you feel so nervous and anxious that you can't make it and that you're going to fail the test.

If you can relate to this, chances are that you have “test anxiety.”

In this article, you’ll learn how you can reduce your anxiety on the day of assessment, but first, what is test anxiety, and how can one recognize it?

According to the American Psychological Association,  test anxiety is tension and apprehensiveness associated with taking a test, frequently resulting in a decrease in test performance.

What causes test anxiety?

Have you ever heard of a hormone called “Adrenaline”? YES, that is exactly the hormone your body releases when you are stressed. Adrenaline is released as a reaction to stress to prepare your body for any potential danger, and that is very normal. However, if this hormone is higher than it should be, you can experience physical symptoms, such as intense sweating, high heartbeats, and an inability to breathe. You can also experience dizziness and fainting, which can negatively affect your test performance. But more than this, there are other factors that are more likely to contribute to your stress!

Overthinking, negative thoughts, and the WHAT IFS:

“What if I fail the test?”, What if it's too challenging?” etc.

You have low self-esteem:

“I know I am not good enough anyway,” “I am not that smart,” “I am bad at subject “X.”

Poor or no preparation:

If you don’t adequately prepare for a test due to procrastination, you will presumably grapple with feelings of stress and anxiety.

You keep looking at your past experiences

If you failed once, it doesn’t mean that you will fail over and over again.

You are a perfectionist:

Yes! You read it right; perfectionists are more prone to experience performance anxiety since they often higher their standards and expectations.

How can students reduce test anxiety?

Here are some tips that help me  overcome  exam stress as a student:

  • Be prepared: by preparation, I mean that you should maintain good study skills and habits. Leaving work unfinished or undone make you subject to negative emotions. Thus, studying regularly can greatly reduce your anxiety.
  • Develop positive attitudes toward learning.
  • Accept your past experiences and embrace your mistakes: Remember, to err is human. Mistakes are a piece and parcel of your learning journey. Thus, you need to tolerate them and know that they are a learning opportunity.
  • Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep affects your emotional health and well-being.
  • Try meditation and breathing exercises.
  • Take care of your body by regularly exercising.
  • Ask for help and support: Try to talk to your teachers or close friends who can help you handle your stress.

Seek therapy.

Language Learning

Hiba Youcefi

I'm a certified English teacher. I am a HUGE LANGUAGE ENTHUSIAST. Aside from English, I speak and write Arabic, French, German, Russian, and some Swedish.

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