Tip 6 | 3 Reasons You Have Test Anxiety
Many students suffer from test anxiety or just anxiety in general, but have you ever wondered why? This video covers three reasons as to why you may have test anxiety and how to work toward overcoming it.
Many students suffer from test anxiety or just anxiety in general. But, have you ever wondered why? Well, doctors and scientists have been attempting to get to the bottom of it for years, and here’s what they know so far:
Reason #1. You equate success with value.
If you are a student, you probably have heard friends, family, or just people in general talk badly about someone because they got a low score on something. They might say that person is dumb because they did poorly on such and such a test. When we know doing poorly brings criticism, we want to do well so that others feel that we have value. We want to be valued, and we think that being successful in school will help. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America have found that when we tie our worth to test success, even the most trivial failure can be devastating.
Reason #2. You don’t feel confident.
Many times we are not prepared for our tests, whether that is due to our procrastination, bad teachers, tough materials, or something else, when we aren’t prepared or confident, we can stress out about the test. Being confident is a huge part of success. The best way to improve confidence is to know the material as best we can. According to the Child Mind Institute, “The common denominator is that if you think you aren’t going to do well, you’re going to feel more anxious going in.”
Reason #3. You are told to be anxious.
You might have been told, at some point, by parents, teachers, or friends that you should be scared, or should work extra hard, or that the test will be super difficult! Part of this is because fear can motivate, and although, Fletcher and associates psychology services, say “a little nervousness can actually motivate a child to study and perform well. However, when anxiety interferes with test-taking, causing students to “blank out,” have trouble paying attention, and/or limit their ability to think clearly, absorb, retain, or recall information, it has become an issue that requires attention.”
So, what are the solutions?
First, make sure you are finding your value in something other than test scores. You are not a number or a score. We all know it, but it’s hard to believe sometimes. Even the best students can have anxiety when they put their self-worth into their grades… you’ll do better and feel better if you don’t equate your grades with your value as a human being.
Second, build your confidence by studying, talking with teachers, buying a study guide, using your notes, knowing the material, etc. It may take extra time and work that you didn’t want to put into your homework, but isn’t that better than being anxious all the time?
Third, People may put pressure on you to be afraid or anxious… have just enough of that to encourage you to study hard, but don’t listen to them if they are just making you more worried than you should be. That will only hurt your ability to perform well.
Remember, you are not alone! Millions of people wrestle with anxiety and that includes students like yourself. If you need professional help, get it! Anxiety is nothing to mess around with, it will only get worse if you let it.
I hope that helps.
See you next time!