Students with Exam Anxiety

 

Some anxiety often helps a student perform better under pressure. However, if students experience too much anxiety, it can affect both academic and psychological wellbeing. Exam anxiety can be caused by many factors, such as the pressure to succeed, past experiences, and/or fear of failure.

 

Symptoms of Exam Anxiety can include:

  • rapid heartbeat

  • sweaty palms

  • negative self-talk

  • feelings of inadequacy

  • tears

  • inability to retain test information

  • fear of fainting or vomiting

 

The student with exam anxiety may not perform well on tests, although grades on other course requirements are good. A student can have anxiety related to certain types of exams. For example, there may be a great discrepancy between a student’s grades in multiple-choice and essay exams in the same course.

 

What You Can Do

 

  • Ask about the student’s exam preparation and time management skills.

 

  • Suggest useful study strategies and exam preparation techniques.

 

  • Refer the student to the Counselling Service Manager or the Advice & Counselling Service for advice about how to overcome test anxiety and manage stress

 

  • Encourage the student to join or form a study group to provide academic and psychological support.

 

Avoid

 

  • Minimising the situation.

 

  • Assuming the student is simply trying to ask for special attention.

 

  • Thinking the student should be able to handle the problem without support.

 

  • Concluding that the student must have a learning disability.

 

  • Believing that if the student really understands the material, they should be able to perform better on exams

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