Test Anxiety

Anxiety: What is it?

  • Anxiety is a natural human response to a threatening situation.

  • Anxiety is a form of the "fight-or-flight" response. The body and mind become aroused and alert to prepare for attack or to escape from a threat.

  • Symptoms can be emotional, physical, cognitive or behavioral.

  • Anxiety is created by expectations or thoughts about what is likely to happen.

  • If you say negative things to yourself about your abilities, it produces a corresponding negative emotional reaction, anxiety.

  • 20% of college students experience test anxiety.

Suggestions to help deal with Test Anxiety

  • Verbalize or write down your worries and quickly contradict them.

  • Use index cards printed with the words "I Can," "I Will," and "I Want," and place them around your home, car and study area to reinforce positive thinking.

  • Breathe slowly and deeply. Practice this technique before the test so you are ready to use it when needed.

    • Close your eyes and inhale through your nose.

    • Hold your breath and slowly count to 5.

    • Breathe out slowly and easily through your mouth.

    • Concentrate on your breathing and nothing else.

  • Rehearse the test.

    • Imagine yourself at the exam beginning to develop anxiety.

    • Immediately visualize yourself taking deep breaths and giving yourself positive instruction, such as "relax" or "focus on the exam and nothing else."