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Exam Anxiety

Some anxiety or tension before an exam is helpful; but exam anxiety is when tension or nervousness around test time is so high that it has a negative effect on your performance.

Several causes of exam anxiety

  • Fear of failure or success.
  • Self-esteem too dependent on grades.
  • Effects of procrastination.

Ways to cope with exam anxiety

  • Adequate advance preparation (tutoring if necessary).
  • "Practice" in exam setting (go to the location of the exam and rehearse).
  • Answer items you know first.
  • Practice a relaxation technique at home before the exam.
  • If blocking occurs during the exam, use anxiety management techniques to relax and re-approach.
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What can be done if these coping skills don't work?

If excessive anxiety persists, seek assistance at Counseling and Psychological Services. The Learning Center also offers support and information.