Loving your ABC's and Overcoming Test Anxiety

By: cathy


Taking a test is as simple as ABC – or, considering reality, should we assume it as such? Nowadays, students from different walks of life encounter difficulty whenever they feel that the advent of that appalling occurrence will commence any moment. At first, students may perceive it as a recurring mind block or episodes that go on perpetual rewind. In the end, it's more than the usual problem – it's anxiety. Chronic sweating, intensified bodily reactions, exigent mind block – these and other manifestations could be easily perceived from a person who's having test anxiety.

Diversified components make up this type of anxiety. Physical components are attributed to chemical and hormonal imbalance, and muscular changes that occur inside the body. These factors impede regular thinking activities which, subsequently, will lead to lack of concentration and focus. We all know that for you to ace the test - given that you're not a regular Einstein – focus and concentration are the key factors. This how test anxiety manages to affect regular cranial processes.

According to medical and psychology experts, people who experience anxiety have a “fight or flight” tendency. These are normal reactions of a person whenever anxiety is at hand – they either take the rigorous challenge to overcome the cause of anxiety or choose to back off instead.

Some of the so-called scientifically-proven options, in reality, are very inapplicable or ineffective in the treatment of test anxiety. Can you imagine a student who runs away from a test? The student would probably think twice before doing so because they understand that they'll be in “deep water” upon retuning to the classroom. And they will never, no matter how possible it may seem, openly fight school authorities just to cope with anxiety.

With this, we must understand that there's no better way to overcome this type of anxiety but by going back to your ABC's, or should we say - basics. And going back to basic means getting to the root of the problem - the causes of anxiety. There are many causes of anxiety and they were given acronyms for you to better understanding and memorize these causes.

More often than not, many students allow themselves to stay in a state of mediocrity. Instead of aspiring for better results or harnessing their full potentials, some students under-perform to avoid stress. In the process, they tend to produce “of-normal-caliber” output. This cause of anxiety brings about laziness, as a result, may contribute to future anxiety problems.

Aside, from the “normal” study practice of students, there is another cause of anxiety that triggers test anxiety – poor study habits. These study regimen may not necessarily mean mediocrity because some of the studies show that other types of bad study habits are exemplified at an extreme rate. An example of this is “burning your midnight candle” type of review. Studies show that no matter how excessively one pushes himself in preparation for an exam, the body will just absorb lesser amounts of information due to adverse situations as aforementioned. Other bad study habits also cause poor memory retention.

“How did you fare today?” or “How will I pass Trigonometry if I flunked Algebra?” - these and other types of questions most likely come out of student's mouth whenever he is tensed. These questions indicate signs of worry that students encounter. Being compared to a seat mate's performance or the fear of passing a higher degree of subject are symptoms of anxiety related to tests.

Our ABC's, like the problem's root, have always been given the least attention, but, the truth is, they define an entity's origin. And where better to attack anxiety but to its roots – the cause of anxiety. Better understanding of its cause will give us the upper hand. Don't you love you ABC's?

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