Many students experience stress or anxiety before a test. In fact, research has proven that being a little nervousness before a test can actually optimize an individual’s performance. However, when the stress/anxiety becomes so excessive that it actually interferes with an individuals test performance, its referred to as test anxiety.
Test anxiety is a psychological condition in which students experience extreme distress and anxiety during testing situations. While many students experience some degree of stress and anxiety before and during tests, test anxiety can actually impair learning and hurt an individual’s test performance.
How To Recognize That Your Child Suffers from Test Anxiety?
Common Symptoms (According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America)
- Increased heart rate, breathing and sweating
- Butterflies in the stomach due to nervousness
- Excessive worry and negative thoughts regarding performance
- Blanking out on the test, even tho they studied the test material
- Difficulty concentrating or recalling information
- Nausea and feeling faint
- Headaches and stomachaches
- Full blown panic attack
- Avoidance of testing situations due to fear
All these symptoms may prevent the student from thinking clearly or concentrating on the test, thus inhibiting their performance.
Causes of Test Anxiety
For many students test anxiety is caused by a combination of things. Potential causes of test anxiety include:
- A history of poor testing outcomes
- Being unprepared – not studying enough for the test
- Being afraid of failure
- Comparing your performance to the rest of the class
- Self doubt – believing that your not a good test taker