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  • 3/6/2011

Test anxiety and tips to ease it (Part 1)

test anxiety

Today’s the day of a big test at school, and you feel awful. Your stomach hurts and you have a headache. Maybe your muscles feel tense and you feel shaky or sweaty. You know you haven’t been bitten by the flu bug — but you may have a case of the jitters, also known as test anxiety.

Here’s how test anxiety works. Let’s say you’re worried about your math test because you didn’t do so well on the last one. Or maybe you’re kind of tense because you did great on the last one and you’re the kind of kid who likes to get all As. When you’re feeling worried and tense, your whole body can be affected.

Performance Anxiety

Test anxiety is actually a type of performance anxiety. Performance anxiety is when a person feels worried about how they will perform (do on something), especially when it’s really important.

 For instance, you might feel performance anxiety when you’re trying out for the school band or for the basketball team.

When you’re taking a test, you might feel "butterflies," a stomachache, or a tension headache. Some people might feel shaky, sweaty, or feel their heart beating quickly as they wait for the test to be given out. A student with really strong test anxiety may even feel like he or she might pass out or throw up.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Ask other people and you’ll find that just about all people — adults and other kids — feel some anxiety before a test. In fact, a small dose of anxiety can be helpful, keeping you sharp and focused. But when your symptoms take over so that you can’t function or when you’re so anxious that you feel sick, you might not be able to do your best.

Of course, if you didn’t study for the test, you might be worried — and for good reason. That kind of anxiety isn’t as easy to tackle because even if you find a way to calm down, you still might not know what the right answers are. When you are prepared for a test and you get a handle on your anxiety, you’ll be able to let your knowledge shine and score a good grade.

No More Tests?

If teachers know that students get stressed out about tests, why do they still give them? Believe it or not, both teachers and students benefit from tests.

Tests measure how well students are learning the skills and information their teachers have been teaching them.

And tests of all different sorts are a part of life — from the driving test you’ll take one day to the test you’ll take if you decide you want to be a doctor.

Source: kidshealth.org

Other links:

What Sleep Is and Why All Kids Need It (Part 1)

What Sleep Is and Why All Kids Need It (Part 2)

Taking Charge of Anger (Part 1)

Taking Charge of Anger (Part 2)

Talking About Your Feelings

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