Is exam anxiety same as exam stress?
When the exam stress goes beyond its limits it is known as exam anxiety. Find
what exam anxiety is?
Exam stress is common in children.
However, when this stress goes beyond the limit the child may face exam
anxiety. Even studious child can face exam anxiety. With right treatment and
management it is possible to control exam anxiety in children. Read on to find
what exam anxiety is.
Anxiety - A Physiological Condition
Exam anxiety is about being worried and
nervous about the approaching exams. In common parlance it is the exam
stress that more or less every student
undergoes before and during the exams. But it is referred to as exam anxiety
when the condition goes beyond the normal limit. It is then defined as a
combination of physiological over arousal.
This condition entails that the normal
bodily system of the student gets over active or over sensitive and begins to
show signs of abnormal behavior. This is primarily and directly caused due to
anxiousness and fright arising in the mind of the student. It acquires
dangerous proportions and interferes with the normal learning habit of the
student. And as a result it is natural that the performance of the child
Anxiety - A Psychological Condition as Well
Exam anxiety occurs with the best
prepared student too. A student who has habitually paid attention to his
teacher’s lessons in the regular classroom and taken detailed notes can fall
victim to exam anxiety too.
He might have his preparation spot on,
studied every chapter, completed and revised each and every exercise, solved
all the test papers and even attended all his additional study
sessions without fail, can find himself extremely nervous at the mere sight of
the test paper in the examination hall.
He might find himself out of his wits
and so nervous and fearful that they seem to draw a blank on those very answers
that are actually known to him at that very moment. This is what is described
as exam anxiety.
Does Exam Anxiety Happen?
Exam anxiety is a variant of performance
anxiety. Examination time is pressure time due to a lot of factors. There is
this pressure of meeting expectations of parents and teachers, attaining and
maintaining the position of the top ranked student or striving to attain that
top rank, the pressure of being acknowledged by peers and above all to achieve
a good grade and ensure the journey towards a secure future.
The student is well aware that good
performance is what that counts and they get so worried about the fact that
they end up finding it difficult to give the exams their best shot. So despite
the fact that the student has the necessary skill and knowledge, it is
excessive exam anxiety that does them in.
The severity of exam anxiety varies a
lot from one student to another and as such it is difficult to generalise the
condition or draw a parallel between the types of students that suffer from it.
Some students complain that they have a feeling like having “butterflies in
stomach” while others may say that are simply unable to concentrate on the
exams. There can be a feeling of a racing heart beat that come along with a
shaky feeling. In an acute case of exam anxiety, the student can feel nauseous,
experience a shortness of breath and even a panic attack.
The Classified Symptoms of Exam Anxiety:
Over Arousal – This refers
to hyper emotionality. The signs are headache, stomachache, shortness of breath
and fast breathing, high sweating, nausea, dryness in mouth, diarrhea, fast
pulse rate and even loss of consciousness.
Extreme Dread – This stems
from fear of failure that results in the dread that exam day is the doomsday
that marks some sort of a catastrophe. It is the feeling of inadequacy that
fills the mind with random thoughts and is marked by negative or self
deprecating self talk and signs of extreme frustration.
In this state, the mind ‘freezes’ or goes ‘blank’. This is heightened confusion
and showing signs of complete lack of organisation.
can play an important role to help children prevent and cope with exam stress
anxiety. Creating peaceful and joyous environment at home during exams can help
children stay away from exam anxiety easily. The moral support of parents
during exams is a must to prevent exam anxiety in children.