Test Anxiety Anyone??


So I know Milestones is over at my elementary school now (PHEW!!!), and my high school is in the midst of taking theirs, but testing is by no means over unfortunately!!  There are still STAR tests, DRA’s, chapter tests, unit tests, AP exams, final exams, etc.  I’m sure I’m missing a few…..

So… with all of this testing taking place and so much riding on the majority of these tests, it does cause some anxiety for the students (and the teachers too!).  There is of course the typical nervousness that goes along with taking a test – at any age, but sometimes the anxiety is overwhelming which may have adverse effects.


What are some signs of common test anxiety?

  • imagesWorrying about the test distracts me from studying.

  • I can’t sleep well when a big test is coming up.

  • I don’t ever feel ready for a test, even if I study a lot.

  • I can’t relax physically before a test.

  • I “freeze” when taking tests: I can’t think and forget things I already know.

  • My stomach becomes upset before important tests.

  • I have negative thoughts while taking tests.

  • My muscles become very tense when I take a test.

  • I often have panicky feelings when I have to take a test.

  • Increased heart rate

  • Fast, shallow breathing

  • Dry mouth

  • Nausea or other gastrointestinal issues

Having one or two of these is pretty common, but when students  have many of these symptoms at the same time… this exceeds the normal sense of being nervous before a test.


What can students do to ease their anxiety?Symptoms of Test Anxiety

  • Try to take several deep breaths periodically, and make a point of inhaling and exhaling as long as possible.

  • Keep a bottle of water handy and take sips as needed.

  • Before an exam, try to avoid excessive amounts of caffeine, and make sure to eat light, healthy meals like toast and fruit or a bowl of cereal. Stay away from fatty or heavy meals, but don’t try to test on an empty stomach, either.

  • Avoid excess caffeine.

  • Drink some herbal teaHerbs like peppermint, chamomile, ginger, and licorice have been shown to reduce indigestion and have a calming effect.

  • download (1)Do not put studying off until the last minute. . Procrastinators have more trouble with severe test anxiety than people who study regularly over time. To shake test anxiety, you need to stop procrastinating now. Here are some tips:

    • Set a timer. One of the best ways to beat procrastination is to set a timer for 15 minutes. Then go! Make yourself study until the timer goes off, with no other activities allowed. It’s only 15 minutes – we all can do anything for that long, right?

    • Use a calendar. Pull out your agenda or cell phone calendar and make a schedule for yourself. If you have several weeks before the exam, plan to study for a reasonable time-frame every weekday. Then keep that appointment as you would an important meeting at work or with the doctor.

    • Start the day with a list.  Right before bed is the perfect time to make a list of what you need to do the next day. Consult your calendar, especially if you have been using it to plan study times. Then put the list in a place where you’ll see it. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done.

  • Is teTest Anxiety and Insomniast anxiety keeping you up at night?  Adequate rest is essential to studying and good test performance, and lack of sleep interferes with concentration and memory.If test anxiety is getting in the way of a good night’s rest, try these tips:

    • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Perhaps a bath, reading a good story, and a nighttime prayer and/or snuggle time with their parents.

    • Make the bedroom a study-free zone. While it’s a good idea to review your study notes before bed, you should probably do so in the living room or office. Studying in bed will make it more difficult for your brain to switch into “sleep mode” once you turn out the lights.

    • Practice deep breathing. When you inhale deeply, your stomach should rise slightly. If your chest rises instead of your stomach, you need to breathe more deeply from your diaphragm. Inhale as you slowly count to five, and exhale for the same amount of time. As you exhale, imagine all the stress melting into the floor. Do this several times.

    • images (4)




Additional resources: 







I hope you found something useful in today’s post!  Enjoy and have a great week!! 🙂



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