For some students, the knowledge that they are going to take a test can cause extreme mental stress and anxiety. The associated symptoms can interfere with that person’s ability to accurately take and complete the test that is given. This is a condition that is known as test anxiety, and it can happen to children who are in middle school, teens in high school, and young adults who are in college. Test taking anxiety should not be confused with the normal nervousness that may occur when taking a test. For people interested in how to overcome test anxiety, it is important that they understand what this type of anxiety is.
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Test anxiety symptoms often take the form of a nervous stomach, nausea, or sweaty palms. Other test anxiety symptoms include headaches, a racing heart, dizziness and even feeling faint. People who are experiencing test anxiety symptoms forget answers to the test, even though they have studied and are otherwise prepared for and are knowledgeable about the test subject. During the course of the test, these symptoms often make a person feel as if his or her brain is not functioning properly. After the test has concluded, the person generally recalls what he or she has studied.
Test anxiety is often caused by stress. This stress may be a result of anticipating and dwelling on potentially negative results from the test. This creates fear which makes the student focus even more on bad thoughts about the test. As a result, the body goes into a fight or flight state as it releases adrenaline and creates test taking anxiety. Students who tend to procrastinate and “cram” for tests, students with poor organization skills or inadequate note taking and study habits, and those who typically put a lot of pressure on themselves to do well, often fall victim to test anxiety.
Students of all ages can suffer from test taking anxiety. They will need to know how to overcome test anxiety as part of their efforts to improve their performance in school or at college. There are numerous test anxiety tips that will help students successfully accomplish this. One of the most important steps to overcoming test anxiety is to take care of oneself both physically and mentally before the test. This means getting enough sleep and having a nutritious breakfast on the day of the test. Getting a full night’s sleep and eating properly will help reduce stress and help the student think clearly during testing. Other test anxiety tips involve improving study habits. Students should start studying as soon as possible and avoid procrastination. Taking good notes, using flash cards and other visual aids are also useful and can help a person in overcoming test anxiety. By getting an early start on studying, students can learn to study for shorter periods at a time and avoid last-minute cramming.
One of the most important test anxiety tips is to engage in positive thinking. Negative thoughts are a major contributor to testing anxiety. Students learning how to overcome test anxiety should make every effort to expect positive results from their test and to put an immediate halt to any negative thoughts that come to mind. Avoiding negative students who may be suffering from their own anxiety about testing will also help students to maintain a positive outlook. Overcoming test anxiety on the day of the test also includes arriving on time to class. This way the student does not feel rushed because he or she is tardy or running late.