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What is test anxiety?

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What is test anxiety?

A psychological condition in which people experience extreme distress/ anxiety in testing situations. It can impair learning and hurt test performance. It can look like:
1. “Freezing” and forgetting information that you've studied
2. Being unable to perform the easy tasks
3. Messing up on your role even though you're very proficient at it

Symptoms of test anxiety

Physical:
• Sweating
• Shaking
• Rapid heartbeat
• Dry mouth
• Fainting
• Nausea
• Diarrhoea
• Vomiting
Cognitive/ behavioural symptoms
• Avoiding situations that involve testing
• Drugs/ alcohol abuse
• Difficulty concentrating
• Negative self-talk

Causes of test anxiety

1.

Fear of failure

2.

Poor testing history

3.

Unpreparedness

4.

Biological causes (e.g. adrenaline is being released)

5.

Mental causes (e.g. negative self-talk)

How to cope with test anxiety

1.

Avoid the perfectionist trap

2.

Banish the negative thoughts

3.

Get enough sleep

4.

Make sure you're prepared

5.

Take deep breaths

6.

Talk to someone you trust

7.

If you need extra support, make an appointment with your school counsellor, or visit a mental health professional

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