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How to Identify Test Anxiety

How to Identify Test Anxiety
Test anxiety is a prevalent issue that can impact student performance on exams, but it can be challenging to spot. As a parent, teacher or administrator, you want to help students succeed in school. Learning more about the feelings children face in the classroom can help you encourage them to excel.

Any child may experience test anxiety, even those without a history of anxiety. Knowing the signs and symptoms of test anxiety can help you identify it in students and support their success in testing environments. 

What Are the Symptoms of Test Anxiety?

Test anxiety comes with various symptoms, and some signs are more obvious than others. 

Physical Symptoms of Test Anxiety

Many students with test anxiety experience physical symptoms, including:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Perspiration
  • Nausea
  • Frequent urination
  • Cold hands
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle spasms

If a student asks to go to the bathroom frequently during tests or says they have stomachaches, these behaviors may be physical symptoms of test anxiety. Noticing students who are physically uncomfortable during tests can help you know which students may need extra support. 

Emotional Symptoms of Test Anxiety

Students may also experience emotional symptoms as a result of test anxiety:

  • Worry
  • Fear 
  • Panic

Some students may pull you aside to express these worries. In these circumstances, learning why a child feels these emotions during tests can help you lessen their worries through preparation plans and help them find coping skills.

Cognitive and Behavioral Symptoms of Test Anxiety

Finally, test anxiety may manifest in these cognitive and behavioral symptoms:

  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Preoccupation with negative thoughts
  • Concerns about ability and intelligence
  • Overemphasizing potential negative test results
  • Procrastination
  • Poor study skills
  • Tiredness during testing

If a student tells you they'll fail before every test or frequently shares that they haven't studied, these habits may be cognitive or behavioral symptoms of test anxiety. Solutions like finding study methods, working through testing strategies and helping individual students set goals can help them succeed on the next test. 

Prepare Students for Tests With Success by Design

Helping students overcome test anxiety begins with identifying the symptoms. Once you know that students suffer from these issues, you can address why they feel test anxiety and equip them to flourish in testing environments. 

If your students struggle to prepare for and perform well on tests, consider supplying your classroom with Success by Design planners. These resources make it easy for students to know when tests are and create study schedules leading up to them. Being prepared can help your students overcome stress and improve their grades. Explore our fun selection of planners for students from preschool to high school. 

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