Identifying & Overcoming Exam Anxiety
Clammy hands, cold sweats, butterflies in the stomach, nausea, racing heart beats. Did you ever feel these things prior to facing an examination?
Most students feel anxious when taking an exam, but some students are more likely to suffer from exam anxiety than others.
Noting that certain thresholds need to be met in order to pass a class or earn a degree, students can become understandably anxious about the testing process. However, there’s a difference between the normal levels of concern and stress prior to an exam and true test anxiety, which is a severe condition that impacts a significant number of students at the school/ collegiate level.
So, what exactly is ‘exam anxiety’.
Exam anxiety is the experience of feeling an intense moment of fear or panic before and/or during an exam/ test or assessment.
A little anxiety during exams is required that will help students to get motivated and learn. The challenge is to recognise when your anxiety has increased past an optimal level so that it starts to impact your ability to prepare for or complete an exam – this is a high level of anxiety.
Mounting anxiety influences the academic performance of a student negatively.
Exam anxiety can be termed as a psychological condition in which students experience extreme distress and anxiety in test situations. The psychological symptoms that build up in students before a test includes restlessness, unusual body movements, difficulty in concentrating, insomnia, fatigue, muscle contraction, abdominal pain, and tremors. These symptoms have negative consequences on student lives and professional growth.Examanxiety is a major factor contributing to a variety of negative outcomes including psychological distress, academic underachievement, academic failure, and insecurity.
Test anxiety is something that impacts students from all ethnic backgrounds and grade levels. Helping students learn to effectively manage such anxiety is a challenging task that requires a genuine team effort and professional intervention. Students, parents, teachers, school counsellors, and school administrators must all find ways to be actively involved in reducing test anxiety.
We live in a test-taking society and when students are anxious during tests, they are less likely to perform up to their academic potential.
Psychologists at PsyCare are trained counsellors who have a range of techniques to help manage test anxiety – and can also recommend ways to improve your study skills. The goals of the techniques are to help students understand the nature of their anxiety so that they can cope more effectively with upcoming evaluations.
This may include behavioural intervention that aims to teach relaxation training like mindfulness. Excessive anxiety hampers the performance at a task and hence PsyCare Psychologists train the child to relax through various techniques to bring anxiety to manageable levels for optimal performance. Mindfulness is where a student tries to focus on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting their anxious feelings, thoughts, and physical reactions. Other specialised methods employed at PsyCare are Memory enhancement workshops and coping skills strengthening.