What is test anxiety and how it affects students?

Asked By: Leidys Trapiella | Last Updated: 9th June, 2020
Category: medical health sleep disorders
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What Is Test Anxiety? Test anxiety is more than feeling a little nervous before a test. For students who struggle with test anxiety, a bit of pre-exam nervousness turns into debilitating feelings of worry, dread, and fear, which can negatively impact performance. Students can struggle with test anxiety at any age.

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Then, what are the effects of test anxiety?

Headache, nausea, diarrhea, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, light-headedness and feeling faint can all occur. Test anxiety can lead to a panic attack, which is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort in which individuals may feel like they are unable to breathe or having a heart attack.

Also Know, how does anxiety affect a student? Anxiety impacts a student's working memory, making it difficult to learn and retain information. The anxious student works and thinks less efficiently, which significantly affects the student's learning capability. This inconsistent presentation is unique to anxiety.

Then, how does test anxiety affect academic performance?

Test anxiety doesn't just affect students during their test. Test anxiety can also affect students as they prepare for the exam. This can cause poor understanding and association of content; which inhibit the student's ability to recall information.

What is test anxiety?

Test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety, because there is pressure to do well in a specific situation. People can experience test anxiety for a number of reasons. They may fear failure and the uncertainty of the future if they do poorly on an examination.

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Does stress affect test scores?

According to Zeidner (1998), when students are required to complete an exam within a certain time constraint, their stress level increases, and the effect of anxiety on test performance is exacerbated. The more difficult the task, the more anxiety will affect performance (Burns, 2004). Therefore, test scores are low.

Is Test Anxiety a mental illness?

Test anxiety is a psychological condition in which people experience extreme distress and anxiety in testing situations. While many people experience some degree of stress and anxiety before and during exams, test anxiety can actually impair learning and hurt test performance.

How do tests affect students?

What Is Test Anxiety (And How It Affects Students) An upcoming test or exam can be a stressful time for any student. Many students experience some amount of stress and anxiety before and during exams. However, test anxiety is more severe, and can actually impair learning and hurt test performance.

Why are tests stressful?

Biological Causes
In stressful situations, such as before and during an exam, the body releases a hormone called adrenaline. For some people, however, the symptoms of anxiety they feel can become so excessive that it makes it difficult or even impossible to focus on the test.

What percent of students suffer from test anxiety?


It's not clear exactly how many students have it but severe test anxiety could afflict as much as 20 percent of the school-going population, according to the American Test Anxiety Association, and another 18 percent may have a moderate form of the condition.

How do you test for anxiety levels?

To check your levels of stress, anxiety, or sadness you can use our anonymous Take a Test Tool. It will show you whether your feelings are within a healthy range and make suggestions on a course which may benefit you.

Is test anxiety a learning disability?

Actually test anxiety is not a disability. Most individuals experience some degree of anxiety when they face a test of any kind. Anxiety that causes our brain to freeze while taking a test is really about what we tell ourselves concerning our own ability to do well on any given test.

What is meant by test anxiety in education?

Test anxiety is a combination of physiological over-arousal, tension and somatic symptoms, along with worry, dread, fear of failure, and catastrophizing, that occur before or during test situations. Highly test-anxious students score about 12 percentile points below their low anxiety peers.

Why do students get test anxiety?

Test anxiety can come from a feeling of a lack of control. Test anxiety can be caused by a teacher embarrassing a student. Being placed into course above your ability can cause test anxiety. Test anxiety develops from fear of alienation from parents, family, and friends due to poor grades.

How do stress and anxiety affect your academic performance?


Anxiety and depression negatively influence academic progress and encourage under-achievement. Students with a high level of anxiety score lower on IQ and achievement tests than their peers.

Are exams good for students?

Exams help us learn and digest information more easily. Because students are under pressure to get good grades, they strive to do their best. They work hard, making sure they are well-prepared. Also, exams are a good way to test students' knowledge.

How common is test anxiety?

Test anxiety statistics
Anxiety disorders are common, affecting about 18 percent of adults. But only about a third of people with anxiety seek treatment, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). Anxiety disorders affect an estimated 25 percent of 13- to 18-year-olds.

How can you prevent test anxiety?

Here are some strategies that may help reduce your test anxiety:
  1. Learn how to study efficiently.
  2. Study early and in similar places.
  3. Establish a consistent pretest routine.
  4. Talk to your teacher.
  5. Learn relaxation techniques.
  6. Don't forget to eat and drink.
  7. Get some exercise.
  8. Get plenty of sleep.

How many students get stressed tests?

The New York State Parent Teacher Association (PTA) surveyed parents and teachers and found that respondents reported that 75 percent of students, those who do not receive additional educational support, were more stressed about testing than they had been in previous years (Klein, 2014).

How do I overcome math anxiety?


5 Ways to Help Students Work Through Math Anxiety
  1. Dispel the Myths. Make sure your students do not believe any of the false statements they may have heard about math.
  2. Turn Math into a Game.
  3. Practice on a Regular Basis.
  4. Get Help When Problems Start.
  5. Display a Positive Attitude.

How can students help with anxiety?

Here are a few ways you can help anxious kids in the classroom.
  1. Practice those deep breaths.
  2. Take a break and go outside.
  3. Talk about anxiety openly.
  4. Get kids moving.
  5. Try walking and talking.
  6. Think positive by having students keep a gratitude journal.
  7. Remind kids to eat healthy and stay well.

Is anxiety genetic?

A 2016 review showed that social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder are all linked to specific genes. Most researchers conclude that anxiety is genetic but can also be influenced by environmental factors. In other words, it's possible to have anxiety without it running in your family.