Test Anxiety and Unseen Potential of the Subconscious Mind

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Prominent genres of literature and excellent films interchangeably preserve and commemorate the idea that education exists as an admirable opportunity to ignite in oneself the spark of knowledge. However today, students regard the fortuitous chance to travel along the path of success to school as a duty rather than a favorable circumstance. This idea emerged when teachers and parents perceived the increase in excessive anxiety predominantly caused by schools.

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One common type of anxiety that influences the lives of kindergarteners to even Ph.D. applicants is test anxiety. In the face of an exam or test, students gain excessive restlessness and perturbation that may negatively affect their academic performance, but measures of proactivity can minimize the dreadful impacts on numerous lives. Due to the causes of successive and overwhelming experiences of stress, test anxiety arises in students. This results in detrimental effects that may vary, but numerous tips for coping with this type of performance anxiety exists.

The causes of test anxiety, often neglected and misunderstood in schools, lies inside the complex brain. Mark Greenberg, the chairman of prevention research at Pennsylvania State University and a developer of the Programming Alternative Thinking Strategies curriculum states that commonly nervous people frequently experience exam apprehension and uneasiness, but this restlessness may also emerge in a substantial amount of individuals who aren’t usually agitated, but nevertheless, still capable of encountering this angst for specific topics (qtd. in Sparks). Even though anyone can experience test anxiety, some cases are worse than others. Gerardo Ramirez, an assistant professor in development and cognitive psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles, remarks that when an on edge scholar starts a test, unsettled thoughts about the plausibility of disappointment commence. Due to students’ anxiety, stress can affect their brain to make it extremely difficult for them to concentrate (qtd. in Sparks).

Moreover, multiple distinct factors can cause performance anxiety to impact someone’s academic achievement (Spencer J). Salend, professor of education at the State University of New York and author of Creating Inclusive Classrooms: Effective and Reflective Practices clarifies, A student may initially do badly on a test due to inadequate study habits or a poorly developed test, and then experience family pressures and negative self-statements, which collectively increase the probability that the student will experience high levels of anxiety that interfere with subsequent test performance (Teaching Students not to sweat the test 22). If teachers, parents, and students knew the causes of test anxiety, students could detect if they have this apprehension and they could get the help that they desperately need.

The effects of test anxiety range from inconsequential to calamitous, and it greatly influences the physical, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing of young children. According to Spencer Salend for Teaching students not to sweat the test, test anxiety results in various negative consequences for students, including debilitating stress, negative academic performance, and adverse emotions regarding school and self-image (20). Additionally, exam uneasiness frequently becomes generally applicable to numerous evaluative circumstances, providing further prevalent underachievement, and developing diminished self-esteem, decreased exertion, and reduced incentive for school assignments (Huberty). Similarly, many physical symptoms of test anxiety exist as well. According to Dawn Marie Barhyte, a multi-skilled writer and organized researcher, “There are physical symptoms, such as a pounding pulse, nausea, rapid breathing, sweating, and/or butterflies. The mental symptoms include an inability to organize thoughts, forgetting what you know, careless mistakes, reading without understanding the questions, and blanking out. Though the effects of test anxiety elicit affliction, treatment, medication, and coping mechanisms exist to assist people who need it the most.

By experiencing performance anxiety, students possess the ability to comprehend their symptoms and monitor their anxiety levels with various coping mechanisms. Preparation exists as an essential part of learning because it reduces stress and anxiety will slowly recede, strengthening the confidence of a person. Studying and planning for a test may sound interminable and endless, but it allows for successful achievement (Barhyte). In addition to preparation, the incorporation of serenity proficiency into a person’s daily schedule for the diminishing of test anxiety will enhance confidence and will keep them concentrating on the exam. This expertise may guide someone in remaining optimistic and shooting for accomplishments, instead of idealism (Barhyte).

Furthermore, if these coping mechanisms do not positively affect a person’s life, then a student may use treatment or medication from a doctor, or even visit a counseling center. According to Thomas J. Huberty, a professor at Indiana University, School psychologists, social workers, and counselors, can develop and implement interventions for students and consult with teachers about how to identify and work with students. Several interventions can be used in the school setting to help students prevent and control test and performance anxiety. Planning ahead, developing superior test-taking skills, and practicing relaxation techniques helps alleviate the fear and anxiety associated with tests and exams.

Though the effects of test anxiety may seem unconquerable, it is important to understand that managing and dealing with this type of anxiety remains possible. Although anxiety may not disappear with a snap of someone’s fingers, treatment in extremely severe cases exist, which can lead to a happy and healthy lifestyle. Students may now perceive that test anxiety will no longer exist as an obstacle in their extensive journey to success. With schools igniting a glimmering spark of knowledge into the souls of many students around the world, they can emancipate the influence of essence and refinement and bestow upon a community a gift of their hard work.

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