Test Anxiety and How it Impacts Grades
Many of you are extremely acquainted with test anxiety. Test anxiety affects people in different ways and to different degrees.
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” The APA also says that “people with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.”
As if having these emotional and physical reactions towards testing aren’t enough, test anxiety can also affect your cognitive ability to perform well on tests, thus impacting your grades. In fact, research has shown that the higher the level of cognitive stress, the more likely a student is to perform poorly on a test.
Experts Dr. Jerrel C. Cassadya and Dr. Ronald E. Johnson have found that “Examination of the relation between the emotionality component of test anxiety and performance revealed that moderate levels of physiological arousal generally were associated with higher exam performance. The results were consistent with cognitive appraisal and information processing models of test anxiety and support the conclusion that cognitive test anxiety exerts a significant stable and negative impact on academic performance measures.”
This research is also supported by Dr. Rizwan Akram Rana and Dr. Nasir Mahmood. In their article “The Relationship Between Test Anxiety and Academic Achievement”, they state that “Results showed that a cognitive factor (worry) contributes more in test anxiety than affective factors (emotional). Therefore, it is concluded that test anxiety is one of the factors which are responsible for students’ underachievement and low 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.
Knowing how test anxiety can impact your grades is important, because it can help you see the importance of seeking out the methods to help you cope with and manage that anxiety.
I hope that this video has helped you to further understand Test Anxiety. To check out more of our video’s on Test Anxiety, click right here.
See you next time!