Test anxiety is defined as a fear of failing that you feel before or while taking an important examination. No matter how hard you prepare for the test, somehow you just blank.
Not every student gets test anxiety, but according to the American Test Anxieties Association (AMTAA), 16-20% struggle with high test anxiety and another 18% struggle with moderately- high test anxiety. These numbers make test anxiety “the most prevalent scholastic impairment in our schools today,” according to AMTAA. These anxieties can cause those who suffer with this anxiety to “perform roughly 12 percentile points lower than their peers.”
Dealing with test anxiety can differ between students: what works for one may not work for the other. It all comes down to the student realizing they have test anxiety and figuring out what they need to do to be successful. There is a wide range of test anxiety symptoms including but not limited to: nausea, sweating, depression, avoiding tests and fidgeting.
I’ve found that the best way for myself to deal with my test anxiety is to have cold water, sit on an end seat, get to class early and listen to my favorite music beforehand. VeryWellMind.com suggests that meditation, plenty of sleep, developing good study habits, focusing and staying positive can help ease the anxiety.
It becomes easy for students to connect their own self-worth or intelligence to how they perform on tests. In reality, according to education.cu-portland.edu, tests are not a measurement of the student’s intelligence but of how well the student can remember what the teacher has taught in accordance to the test. It is not uncommon for teachers to create a study guide of what will be on a future test, and because of these guides, students may focus on just the items the professor mentioned. This is not intelligence; this is memorization. Intelligence is taking information and being able to apply it in real life situations, not on a piece of paper.
TWU offers help to those who struggle with test anxiety. Through the website, students can find links to different sources on how to manage test anxiety. The TWU Dallas campus offers an event every Monday for students only, “Tame Test Anxiety,” which aims to help students perform better and lessen their test anxiety. To get help, stop by the Counseling and Psychological Center between 12-12:45 P.M.