Most students feel some level of anxiety before and during a test. However, it is a problem when the anxiety begins to affect your ability to take a test. This information sheet describes the signs of test anxiety and how to cope.
SIGNS OF TEST ANXIETY IN YOUR HEAD:
- Difficulty with concentration
- Mind going blank
- Racing thoughts
- Negative thoughts, such as thinking about failing and the consequences of failing
- Negative self-talk, such as calling yourself a failure
- Comparing yourself to others
- Knowing the answers before and after the test but not during it
SIGNS OF TEST ANXIETY IN YOUR BODY:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Tense muscles
- Feeling faint
HOW TO COPE WITH TEST ANXIETY:
- Manage your study time and do not procrastinate. Use an organizer or planner to develop a study schedule and stick to it.
- Be on time. Arriving to the test late will increase anxiety.
- Focus on the test and try not to get distracted.
- Expect some anxiety… this is normal. Do not let a little anxiety throw you off your game.
- Develop good study habits and make sure you are well prepared for your tests.
- Read the test instructions carefully before you start.
- Use relaxation techniques during the test, like slow, deep breathing.
- Take a break if you need to and bring a drink, if possible.
- If you need extra support, make an appointment with a school counselor or advisor.
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.