Almost everyone experiences some level of nervousness or tension before tests or other important events in his or her life. The term "test anxiety" refers to the emotional, physical, and cognitive reactions that some students have to exams. The fear of exams is not an irrational fear - after all, how you perform on college exams can shape the course of your academic career. Some students experience physical symptoms of anxiety before and during exams (an upset stomach, sweaty palms, etc.). Many of these students have trouble recalling information that they actually know and become so nervous about preparing for or taking a test that they have difficulty planning, thinking, concentrating, and relaxing. A little nervousness can actually help motivate us; however, excessive fear of exams is a problem when it interferes with your ability to be successful in college.
This tutorial suggests ways of managing your anxiety, as well as suggestions and tips applicable to anyone who takes exams. This tutorial will help you understand what test anxiety is, when it is a normal reaction, and ways to cope with it.
Goals and Objectives
Upon completion of this tutorial, you will be able to:
- Determine if you have excessive or irrational anxiety about taking tests
- Identify two causes of test anxiety
- List three signs that you aren't well prepared for a test
- Plan a semester-long test-taking strategy to cope with test anxiety and improve test scores
- Explain the role good health habits play in doing well on tests
- Identify three things you could do to improve your eating and exercise habits
- Use relaxation techniques to cope with test anxiety
- Take a survey to check if you are test anxious
- Read information about different causes of test anxiety
- Read student dialog about what to do with test anxiety
- Complete Activity 1 on preparation before an exam
- Complete Activity 2 on strategies for taking an exam
- Read information about self care
- Read information about relaxation
Note: All external links in this tutorial will open in a new window or tab.