If you’re students (or had the privilege of being one) have you ever felt anxious prior to a major exam. A little bit of nervousness is often beneficial and provide you with an adrenaline rush that will help you perform your top performance. But, if the pre-test stress gets to the point that it impacts your performance, then you are probably experiencing test anxiety. Learn more about ways to beat test anxiety.
What is Test Anxiety?
Test anxiety is a mix of feelings like anxiety about, fear, and dread–along with physical fight-or-flight signs that people experience before and during an exam. It’s a form or performance anxiety where the pressure to do well becomes so overwhelming that test takers cannot focus and work at 100%. There is a certain degree of stress around testing is normal. However in cases where exam anxiety symptoms trigger anxiety attacks, hamper learning, or hamper ability to perform, it’s imperative to figure out ways to reduce the response.
What is the cause of anxiety during tests?
It is said that according to Anxiety and Depression Association of America anxiety can be traced to the factors listed below:
- Fear of failure: Also known as atychiphobia the fear of failing can adversely affect our performance. Students who rely on their sense of self-worth on the basis of the results of an examination are more likely to experience this anxiety.
- Lack of preparation: Knowing you haven’t studied enough for test day can make you feel more anxiety and dread.
- Unsatisfactory testing history If you’ve had a bad test history, poorly on other tests or have bad memories of examinations, you could be caught in a loop of negative thoughts that may affect your future performance on tests.
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It can be mild or severe and can include:
- The emotional symptoms include feelings of fear, anger, disappointment or helplessness. More severe symptoms include depression and low self-esteem.
- Physical symptoms: Headaches as well as diarrhea, discomfort, nausea, breath shortness the heart rate increases and lightheadedness. In more severe cases, anxiety can lead to a panic attack.
- The signs of cognitive or behavioral disorders include negative self-talk as well as comparing yourself to others, fidgeting, and difficult to concentrate. In certain instances anxiety can get so intense that students have to be kicked out of school.
Tips for overcoming test anxiety
So, how do help you overcome your anxiety about tests? Here are some test anxiety suggestions to help:
- Be prepared: Poor preparedness can dramatically increase test anxiety. One of the most effective ways of managing test anxiety is to make sure you are prepared when you are taking an examination. This includes thoroughly studying as well as getting a decent night’s sleeping, and showing up to the class earlier.
- Change your breathing patterns: Anxiety results in shortness of breathing and the heart racing. To help control theseeffects, try regulating your breathing. Begin by breathing deeply through your nose , and exhaling out through your mouth. This will help slow your breathing and aid in controlling your heartbeat.
- Be positive in your thinking: having negative thoughts or catastrophizing can result in more severe exam anxiety symptoms such as depression. Set realistic expectations for yourself . It is important to remember that your self-worth should not be tied to your performance of any test.
- Enjoy more laughter: Laughter is a natural medicine that improves your mood and relieves stress. Do try watching YouTube videos , or listen to a hilarious podcast the next time you’re in a state of stress.
- Stay fit: Having an active and healthy lifestyle is vital for your mental and physical health. Remember to always get enough rest, work out regularly, and take care of yourself.
- Chew on chewing gum while taking the exam can help focus your mind on the task in time and keep you away from negative thoughts.
- You can try yoga and meditation. It is a wonderful method of training your mind so that you are able to deal with difficult situations with greater ease. It helps you learn to focus on your thoughts and to eliminate negative thoughts as they enter into your head. Yoga is a type practice that connects breathing with body movements, developing focus on somatic sensations and decreasing stress.
- Listen to music: Music has a profound influence on your mood. Prior to a test, consider listening to music and calm your nerves. The slower tempo will relax the muscles and quiet your thoughts, while dancing to an upbeat song may relieve tension.
- Get together with your pets: Research suggests that spending time with pets can reduce anxiety and stress levels in humans. If you don’t have the option of having a pet, think about adopting the pet or having it pet-sit.
- See a counselor Your personal counselor, or therapist from your school’s health center might be able to help you identify your anxiety in the test and provide tools to help you overcome it. Schools often have resources dedicated to helping students manage test anxiety.
If you are suffering from severe test anxiety, you are not on your own. Try the tips above and reach out to the counseling center of your university to receive additional assistance.