The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Exam-fueled anxiety addressed

By Martin Ramirez/ reporter

South student Jeff Cullum reviews his notes from a test anxiety seminar. South Campus held the workshop Feb. 24 to help students find ways of alleviating stress before tests.Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
South student Jeff Cullum reviews his notes from a test anxiety seminar. South Campus held the workshop Feb. 24 to help students find ways of alleviating stress before tests.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

South students learned how to manage stress and anxiety when taking a test Feb. 24.

South counselor Valerie Groll held Test Anxiety for students who struggle with exams.

“Sometimes we overthink things, which causes test anxiety,” she said.

Groll started by lying about a $25 fee for attending the seminar. After revealing the truth, she asked everyone what they felt when they heard her lie. Students responded with feelings of fear, worry or shock. Some students even said they felt like leaving.

“Fight or flight is a natural reaction,” she said, “oh, and freeze as well.”

Groll played a YouTube video by Thomas Frank about test anxiety. Frank listed three major fears he says all students have: fear of the unknown, fear of inadequacy and fear of the stakes. He gave advice on overcoming those fears.

For fear of the unknown, Frank said the best way to conquer this fear is information. He suggested recreating test conditions by going to the classroom and simulating the testing conditions, doing dry runs, asking the professor about the test and searching for old tests to study.

“Do your best to make that test feel like a familiar, old friend when you walk into the class and face it down on test day,” he said.

Frank’s advice for fear of inadequacy is to study actively, keep a detailed schedule and act confident. He suggests writing out worries 10 minutes before a test, a tip he said is backed by science.

“This pulls [worry] out of your brain, puts it on paper, puts it aside and lets your brain focus on the actual test,” he said.

As for fear of the stakes, students need to find their center, Frank said. “One test doesn’t define you.”

Two minor problems Frank also included were perfectionism and past failures.

“Don’t expect absolute perfection from yourself,” he said. “It’s unhealthy. We tend to put more weight on negative experiences. … But if you change the factors, you can change the results.”

Groll talked about “you-stress,” a form of stress that keeps people motivated to manage what is needed.

“It’s what all college students should be feeling,” she said. “You need to have stress in your life. It just needs to be healthy.”

South student Taylor Potts said she attended the seminar because of personal problems affecting her grades.

“I am stressed, and I’m not doing well in my classes,” she said.

Groll said the school has counselors to talk to, so if students feel as though they have anxiety, the school can diagnose them for free and provide special services.

Student Dalecia Bell said she enjoyed the “very, very informative” event.

When students leave a test stressed, Groll advised them to try to remember something they’re good at.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian