Causes and Treatment for Test Anxiety

Thursday, May 25, 2017

(WRDW/WAGT) — Some students can study and study and study some more, but when it comes time to take that test, will they be able to remember the material?

If your child has trouble taking tests, even after extensive preparation, they may have test anxiety. Test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety, and it is very real.

What Causes Test Anxiety?

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America said there are three main causes for test anxiety. The fear of failure and pressure to perform is one factor, while a lack of preparation and previous bad experiences with test-taking are others.

The causes for test anxiety can lead to physical, emotional, and behavioral problems.

Physical symptoms include headache, nausea, diarrhea, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, light-headedness and feeling faint. Test anxiety can lead to a panic attack, which is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort in which individuals may feel like they are unable to breathe or having a heart attack.

Emotional symptoms include feelings of anger, fear, helplessness and disappointment. Behavioral symptoms include difficulty concentrating, thinking negatively and comparing yourself to others.

How can you manage test anxiety?

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers this advice that you can share with your child if they are feeling anxious about an upcoming test:

– Be prepared. Develop good study habits. Study at least a week or two before the exam, in smaller increments of time and over a few days (instead of pulling an “all-nighter”). Try to simulate exam conditions by working through a practice test, following the same time constraints.
– Develop good test-taking skills. Read…

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