Test Anxiety Effects

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Test anxiety occurs when a student becomes apprehensive about a test he will be taking.  This apprehension makes the student nervous and fighting his nerves saps a great deal of the energy he needs to perform well on.

Test anxiety usually comes about because the student has an abnormal fear of failing and/or lack of confidence in his ability remember when he needs to.  The usual outcome of test anxiety is that the student's score does not reflect the student's ability.

The anxiety is normal

It is normal to experience some amount of anxiety before an examination.  It is when the student becomes more concerned about his anxiety than he is about the test that the test anxiety becomes destructive.

Stress is a normal part of the human experience.  Experiencing no stress before a test would mean the student either has an abnormal amount of confidence or he really doesn't care at all if he fails.  Well nobody would be a well-advised to go through life not caring about anything, a good strategy in exam preparation, is to work hard until the day before the test and then adapt an I don't care attitude.

Keep your mind on the task at hand

Naturally, someone who imagines defeat in anything all the time will eventually bring that defeat about.  So, it would figure, anyone who is unable to get his mind off of failing an exam is liable to fail that exam.

For many years, educators have toyed with the idea of replacing exams with some other way of testing a student's ability or gauging how much he is learning.  However, no one has as yet, been able to find a reasonable substitute for an exam.  Therefore, it is up to the student to not only learn the things he needs to know to pass an exam, but also to learn how to be a good exam taker.

Studying too hard?

Some have suggested that test anxiety comes about from studying too hard.  This is not the case.  A student can study as hard as he wants to.  The problem is when the student becomes overly concerned with how he will feel when taking the test.  It is beneficial for the student to realize that he can perform at his absolute best when he is nervous.  So, becoming obsessed with being calm during the test is a wasted effort.

The keys

The key to overcoming test anxiety is the same as the key to overcoming any kind of anxiety.  First, the student must be willing to let nervousness happen.  Second, he has to realize nervousness cannot make him less able, unless he becomes more fixated on his emotional state than he is on the questions in front of him.  Finally, he should study hard on the days leading up to the test, and then on test day, adapt the attitude that what ever will be, will be.