What is Test Anxiety?

Almost every one of us has suffered from test anxiety. It is highly unusual that any student doesn’t feel some sort of stress or anxiety before a test. This anxiety can manifest self in many ways included, irritability, anger, physical issues and depression. Research is showing ways to understand how this may affect learning.

The ability to retain and recall information can be repressed under stress. This is because anxiety creates a “mental static” that then causes the brain to lose its ability for retrieval as well as reduces reason and comprehension. Understanding the relationship with anxiety and the ability for physical and cognitive performance is understanding the effects of the emotion on the nervous system.

Feelings or emotions like anxiety, anger and fear cause an out of sync reaction between branches of the nervous system. The brain activity that is normally synchronized becomes affected which then disrupts clear thinking and processing by the brain. However, other emotions such as happiness can bring about a state of increased synchronization in the nervous system, as well as the brain. And one is then able to process information and think better.

Students who obtain or have been given the strategies and tools can overcome this anxiety. These strategies include good physical habits as well as emotional coping skills. These skills will also overcome any anxiety or stress symptoms. And they will be better equipped to prepare and perform at test time. And important factor of this is that the student must actually identify and relate the feeling. Then the tools they are given can manage the anger, frustration or self-doubt. Good exercise and physical habits should also be part of the picture of alleviate anxiety and stress during test taking. Good physical sense will let students obtain a good energy level that gets the brain in the right state for thinking.






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