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Test Anxiety

We’ve all had nightmares about arriving to class with the sudden realization that an impending exam was on our heels. This kind of a nightmare can wake a person out of a deep sleep and the disturbing dream can be difficult to shake. A person who has test anxiety lives this nightmare each time he takes an exam.

Test anxiety is very frustrating for students, instructors and parents for many reasons. Teachers work hard to develop fair methods of evaluating a student’s progress. The exams are a large part of this process. When a student has test anxiety, the evaluation approach isn’t a very reliable measurement of the student’s understanding and progress.

The major problem with this troublesome condition is that it interferes with the student’s capability to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the materials covered in class. Test anxiety is a significant obstacle that a student has to face and it can have severe ramifications if unrecognized and untreated.

Paren’ts may become frustrated about their child’s test anxiety because they see that he conveys understanding at home while he’s studying but he’s unable to perform well on exams. The frustration goes doubly for the student who feels incredibly nervous and unable to think while taking tests.

So what can be done about test anxiety? The first step is to identify the problem. This isn’t quite as simple as it might seem. It is simple to misinterpret a lack of confidence with a lack of knowledge. The student might think that he really doesn’t deserve a good grade simply because he doesn’t perform well on tests.

Once you have determined that the problem is test anxiety, you can start taking steps to dealing with the problem. Mental preparation and relaxation techniques are best strategies for dealing with this condition. The specific activities that can be used vary greatly and you might find that one works better than another.

One consistent approach is to eat a healthy snack before taking the exam. Hunger can be a great distraction and it can be a source of anxiety on a subconscious level. In order to assure that the student will do well on the exam, his primary needs should be met. Skip the sweets. Sugar and caffeine can make test anxiety.

Getting over test anxiety isn’t easy. There is no swift fix but if everyone recognizes the condition they can take the proper steps to recovery.


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