When people face situations where they feel tested, it is normal for their anxiety leveles to increase as a result of the possibility of getting a bad score.
Due to the number of exams taken at school, test anxiety has become an educational and social problem, especially among schoolchildren young university students.
According to the Spanish Association for Anxiety Studies and Stress (SEAS, Spanish acronym), this type of anxiety affects a high percentage of students and has negative effects on their academic performance. This leads to the idea that many of them, “…that are not successful at school have problems related to the extreme levels of anxiety they experience before exams, not learning problems.”
Some scenarios where you may recognize whether your child is displaying too much anxiety include admission tests, academic exams and school presentations. While symptoms may vary, the most common ones are cognitive responses such as being over-worried about their performance, repeated comparison with other classmates and self-criticism. Physiological responses include stomach problems, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty falling asleep, headaches, muscle tension, shakiness and rapid breathing. Last, other behaviors may include hyperactivity, repetitive movements and not wanting to go to school.
Additionally, when the circumstances of an evaluation are critical (such as an exam that determines their future or that is very time-limited), the performance of the anxious student will lower considerably.
If you suspect you have an anxious student at home, SEAS recommends seeking psychological support so the student can learn techniques to control their anxiety when taking a test, improve their performance and eliminate the frustration of anxiety-induced failure.