Is Test Anxiety All In The Mind?

Is Test Anxiety All In The Mind?

test anxiety symptoms


Stress and anxiety are assumed to negatively affect a students’ performance when taking tests. Research studies have actually revealed that students with insignificant amounts of test anxiety achieve greater scores on evaluations than those with high anxiety levels. This has been proven both with children taking test all the way to their adult counterparts. Do female students have higher test anxiety levels compared to male students? What are some ways that both genders can implement so that their test scores can be raised? This article will explore alternative methods like relaxation and hypnotic suggestions that can be explored so that students can reach the best of their ability.


The anxiety many pupils encounter throughout standard assessments relies on numerous circumstances. These can be issues with the ability to recall information during the test. Many students report the feeling of their mind blanking out during this time and they usually attribute it to inadequate student abilities. Students who do not recall info effectively also have trouble absorbing brand-new information which can have a domino effect. Not only with tests, but anxiety also impacts take-home examinations and also pressure situations outside of the academic environment. It is essential to diagnose the underlying trouble and also establish a plan that is worthwhile for students.


The Relationship Between Text Anxiety and Performance for Elementary Students


This study examined competing models of the bi-directional impacts of stress and anxiety as well as reading success with children in elementary school. One hundred fifty-three first graders were evaluated during the second semester of classes. Children finished standardized procedures of reading achievement involving decoding and fluency along with measuring an anxiety rating scale. Regression evaluations revealed that separation stress and anxiety signs were detrimentally predicted by test efficiency in the same stressors were positively predicted by translating overall performance.


The students were chosen because of their poor performance academically during the first semester. Students reported that they felt distracted during test taking and during regular times in the classroom. They felt that they would fail no matter what they did and that their mind would shut down. Researchers reported that these negative stress mind states would weaken their overall performance in school as well as their ability to retain information.


Researchers were also able to reach out to the children’s kindergarten teachers who reported that they had the same levels of anxiety and were able to make a correlation between their kindergarten achievements along with a similar result in the first grade. Following this negative consistency, the students were projected to continue to be in the lowest percentage of their respective classes.


Parents were notified that children would receive suggestions with regards to providing a healthy and safe environment. Children were also empowered to leave the group if that they did not feel comfortable. In the small groups, children were given more than enough time to ask questions as well as take sample tests that were similar to what they took in the classroom.


The test scores were a lot higher in the private groups. Researchers concluded that the feeling of a safe environment and providing ample time to complete the sample tests boosted the students confidence. During the sessions, there was not a variation between the boys or girls. The conclusion was that additional studies would be needed as a child’s receptivity to hypnotic suggestions could very differently for each test. Having multiple tests with the theme groups would give a more concrete conclusion of what would work long-term. Additional studies were also suggested to explore the relationships between parents and their children as well as other emotional factors that could affect the children’s test taking abilities.


Winning Tactics for Test Anxiety with Nursing Students


test anxiety treatment


Researchers in this study proposed that guided relaxation methods could prove very beneficial and improving the test anxiety with these nursing students. One hundred forty-seven second and third year nursing students participated in this study that covered two days. The group was put into where the control group did not receive any intervention whatsoever. Evaluations were conducted before the session began, immediately following the guided relaxation and at the ninety day follow-up.


At the beginning of the first relaxation session, both groups had the same level of anxiety based on their evaluations. After the first evaluation was completed, the test anxiety in the group that had the intervention had improved by twenty percent over the control group. After the ninety day follow-up, the control group reported more than double of test anxiety related to the first group. Researchers concluded that having a form of guided suggestions and the instrumental in lowering test anxiety and those being the overall academic performance of students. They can also be used to increase learning overall and not just during test taking times.


Minimizing Test Anxiety with Pharmacy Students


Forty-two students were chosen from a group of over two hundred pharmacy students based on their high levels of test anxiety that was exhibited after taking the Academic Motivation Scale examination. The students were chosen due to moderate to high levels of anxiety, while those with an extremely high level of anxiety were excluded from this study. This group was then split in half with the first group actively participating with the experiment and the other half being in the control group. They were also encouraged not to share any information with regards to the psychological suggestions they were given by others that the results could not be negatively influenced.



The sessions lasted for over six weeks with one hour sessions where those that were in the experimental group received relaxation therapy, desensitization as well as visualization techniques that could be used for taking tests. In addition to test taking methods, students were also encouraged to share their feelings as to when the anxiety thinking initially began. This way, students did not feel that they have to tackle the levels of anxiety alone.


Students in the experimental group reported an eighty percent decrease in test anxiety during the study. This group also had lower scores when they were compared to students who had gone through previous research sessions. Researchers concluded that the psychological intervention was significant in improving the students overall well-being and it positively reflected in a rise in the students grades overall.


In short, the success of a person’s test anxiety could depend on a number of factors that could be bubbling beneath the surface. There are a lot of underlying themes that have to be uncovered so that these concerns and fears related to test taking do not recur. Perhaps it is best to seek the expertise of a licensed expert so that a person does not have to tackle these issues on their own.

Mark Barrus

Mark Barrus is the Director of Healthy Life Centers. I have been in the Hypnosis industry for over 20 years, and have written many articles about the efficacy and effectiveness of Hypnotherapy to overcome unwanted habits and actions. Twenty years of Case Study research and examination have helped me to inform the industry on the results and be a leader in the field. I originally worked with Dr. Richard Neves, the former head of the American Board of Hypnotherapy, training other Hypnotherapists in Advanced Smoking Cessation protocols. In February 2005, we also started Healthy Life Centers, in Orange County, CA

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