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Recognizing Test Anxiety


To learn how to recognize test anxiety symptoms.

Symptoms of Test Anxiety (Educational Testing Service, p. 3)

A small amount of anxiety isn’t bad-it’s actually helpful to be “up” when preparing for and taking a test-but if you are showing some of the following symptoms, your level of stress may be too high. It may be at a level that can hurt your preparation and performance. Here are some signs of test anxiety that have to do with your mind:

  • How to Overcome Test Taking AnxietyMental blank-out
  • Negative thoughts about past performance, consequences of failure, or how everyone else is doing
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Knowing the answers after the test, but not while taking it

Test anxiety can also manifest itself physically, just like other forms of stress and anxiety. Some of the symptoms you may experience include:

  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Faintness
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Tense muscles

Next Step

Better understand the mind-body connection by doing the exercise found in the following video:

Which of the following are signs of test anxiety?

Test anxiety can manifest both in the mind and in the body.

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