Tapping pencils and feet, questions gone unanswered, sweaty foreheads, and nervous glances. Test taking anxiety afflicts many of us daily. It is a dangerous enemy of any high school student, turning even the simplest of exams into an intense scene straight from teens’ worst nightmares.
As students embark on their high school career, stress is a major aspect. Things such as class work, extra curricular activities, and exams are major causes of stress in high school. Tests are typically weighted more in point value compared to other assignments. Some students struggle with test taking anxieties that can possibly impact their scores.
“I do believe it [test taking anxiety] is common in high school,” Red Lion Area Senior High School’s psychologist Mrs. Persing said. “But I don’t think many students reach out for help when dealing with it.”
Students with test taking anxieties have shown to perform at an average of 12 points lower than a student without test taking anxiety. Grades can drop as much as half a letter grade or more because of severe test taking anxiety, resulting in students performing much lower than their potential because of this fear of tests.
There is not a specific subject of need among all students. “It depends on the student’s strengths and weaknesses,” Mrs. Persing said. There are no current reports of test taking anxiety in the school. However, it’s very common in high school. Approximately 16-20% of students have a form of extreme test taking anxiety.
In addition, an average of 18% of students struggle with a moderately-high test taking anxiety. Some students suffer from this anxiety without even realizing it. In order to conquer test taking anxiety, help is needed. Whether it’s from outside help or within oneself, test taking anxiety can be defeated somehow.