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Stress and Depression in Children Topics..


What is Exam Anxiety?

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.

Exam 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 is affected.

Exam 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.

Why 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.

Impairment – In this state, the mind ‘freezes’ or goes ‘blank’. This is heightened confusion and showing signs of complete lack of organisation.

Parents 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.   

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Ritesh.4 years ago
Extensive subject on exam anxiety. I have seen children puking on the day of exams due to anxiety. Is there any way to prevent it completely?
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