Stop Test Anxiety

What is test anxiety?

Test anxiety is an abnormal reaction to a performance situation that interferes with the outcome. In this case, the performance happens to be the test. The emotional reaction could occur long before the test, during the test, or even after the test. For more details, click on the types of test anxiety, click here.

What is the difference between test anxiety and nervousness?

It is very normal for a person to get nervous whenever one has to do something important such as taking a test or performing. The main difference between nervousness and test anxiety is that if a student exhibits nervousness, that alone will not interfere with the performance outcome. For example, a student will often be nervous at the start of a test , but the nervousness disappears as the test progresses. You will see from the next section on test anxiety symptoms, that if the symptoms are severe, they linger and actually interfere with performance.

What are some symptoms of test anxiety?

A student can suspect test anxiety to be present whenever some or all of the following symptoms are present :

Physical Symptoms:

  • sweating
  • hives
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • dry mouth
  • rapid heart beat
  • muscle tension
  • twitching

Emotional Symptoms:

  • fear of failure
  • fear of success
  • perfectionism
  • low self esteem
  • panic
  • worry
  • need for approval
  • lack of trust

Mental Symptoms:

  • disorganization
  • freezing
  • mind racing
  • blanking out
  • mental block
  • confusion
  • lack of clarity
  • lack of concentration

Do I have test anxiety?

By taking a short assessment, you can identify the degree to which you experience test anxiety. The Westside Test Anxiety Test Scale will enable you to pinpoint the severity of this issue. Take a few minutes to assess your anxiety by clicking here: The Westside Test Anxiety Scale.

If you have test anxiety, how can you get it to go away?

Test anxiety needs to be attacked on two levels. The first level is using the conscious part of your brain to address the anxiety. Consequently, students will study hard, get a good night's rest, eat and drink healthy, understand the test dynamics, etc. No doubt you are familiar with this level of behavior.

However, not all conscious strategies are productive. One in particular, studying harder, often contributes to anxiety. If a student studies harder, it is time consuming and the message the brain hears is "I'm not getting it, so I had better study longer and harder." This self-punishment is unnecessary since the student is already knowledgeable.

In addition to the proper use of conscious strategies, a student will want to use the subconscious part of the brain to fight test anxiety. The subconscious mind control's one's emotions, feelings, habits and creativity. Students most often have a really bad habit when testing and it is called text anxiety. This is nothing more than an abnormal emotional reaction to stimuli, such as a test.

Hypnotic technique can be used to relax the body and mind so that the subconscious is accessed. Through the power of suggestion, a student can learn to change the mindset toward testing . In the Stop Test Anxiety Program, students use a post-hypnotic suggestion whenever studying, attending class, and while taking tests. This post-hypnotic suggestion allows a student to perform anxiety free, no matter whether it’s part of learning in the classroom, or at home studying, or while taking a test.

Attend a Stop Test Anxiety Program.

This program is offered during the Fall and Winter semesters. When participating in a group program please complete the Stop Test Anxiety Treatment Form online and the Westside Test Anxiety Scale assessment before attending the first session. If you miss the first session, you would not be allowed to attend subsequent sessions in the group program. If you miss the first session, an appointment program might be better.

Purchase the Stop Test Anxiety CD at the College Store.

For the hours of operation at the College Store, click here.