A Message From the
Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services
What is Test anxiety?
Test anxiety is a psychological condition in which people experience extreme distress and anxiety in testing situations. While many people experience some degree of stress and anxiety before and during exams, test anxiety can actually impair learning and hurt test performance.
What are the symptoms of test anxiety?
Test anxiety symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual. Most students only experience mild symptoms of test anxiety. A small amount of test anxiety can be healthy and often results in student’s doing well on their exams. A small percentage of students experience significant test anxiety, which can impact their performance on exams.
There are three types of symptoms of testing anxiety: physical, cognitive and behavioral symptoms, and emotional symptoms. Physical symptoms can include sweating, shaking, rapid heartbeat, and “butterflies”. Cognitive and behavioral symptoms can include fidgeting, forgetting test answers, negative self-talk and difficulty concentrating. Emotional symptoms can include feeling depressed, low self-esteem and feelings of helplessness.
What are some things you can to do help you child if they are experiencing test anxiety?
One of the best ways to overcome test anxiety is to be fully prepared for your upcoming exam. Preparation for tests includes learning what areas the test will cover and helping your child to recognize the areas in which they are weaker. These areas should be a greater focus when studying.
Another way to help your child manage their test anxiety is to develop strategies to keep their schoolwork organized. This can include creating a clear, targeted study plan for the weeks leading up to the mid-year and/or Regents exam, as well as, the ongoing organization of class notes and schoolwork. If your child has difficulty with creating a study plan, they should make an appointment with their teacher to assist them in creating a plan.
A third way to help reduce test anxiety is to have your child practice taking the test. Reviewing class notes, and taking previous Regents exams can accomplish this. The more accustomed a person is to sitting for a period of time, pacing themselves through the questions, the more comfortable they will feel when it comes time to take the actual exam.
If at any time you are concerned that your child maybe suffering from severe testing anxiety, please contact the clinical staff within each school building. Or contact our office for assistance at 845-528-8130.
Director of Pupil Personnel