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

NE learns to cope with test anxiety

By Macy Feemster/reporter

Students who attended a NE seminar on test anxiety Oct. 13 gained tools to help them prepare for exams. 

Mental health assistant professor and coordinator Cynthia Savage said test anxiety causes worry, stress and fear about the future, but some anxiety is normal. Some people have the fight, flight, freeze reaction. Some students can experience feeling nervous, restless or tense.

“Anxiety is fear. It’s not in the present tense. It’s in the future,” she said. “We are fearing the future. We fear what lies in front of us.”

Savage offered ways to reduce anxiety.

“[Students] should change the belief with kindness,” she said. “Everyone deserves to be here. Not one of us is more important than the other.”

Suffering with anxiety may be difficult, Savage said. Using the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, a form of psychotherapy, can help students fight anxious feelings, she said.

“Cognitive behavioral therapy is the best strategy of all because you can do it by yourself,” she said. “You don’t need a therapist with you.”

Savage recommended calm.com, a free website with simple mindful meditation as a calming method.

“When you open the website, watch it. Be right there,” she said. “You’re not stressed when you’re watching this. Do something good for yourself and focus. You belong here. We all do.”

NE student Savannah Harper thought the site sounded useful.

“There are times that I get stressed, and I’m just falling apart,” she said. “I do think that calm.com will help me relax while listening to nature.”

Savage said when she was in school, she told herself that she would study for her tests over the weekend, but she never got around to it. Then, on Monday when she had to take the test, she was very anxious, knowing she didn’t prepare.

NE student Brittnee Adkins could relate to Savage’s story.

“It helps when I study to learn, instead of study to take a test,” she said. “It’s in your memory more. It’s in your nature, and that helps with a lot of my anxiety.”

Finding different learning methods or studying habits also can help with test anxiety.

“I can barely sleep, and I won’t eat because everything is just going through my mind,” NE student Valerie Banda said. “If I could just calm down more and relax, I could absorb more information as opposed to just panicking. I’m just thinking, ‘OK, get a grip on yourself.’”

Savage said anxiety is a word that is thrown around without knowing what it means.

“The bad thing is, they start to believe it,” she said. “Then they start to become the label that they have given themselves. It’s not them. Don’t listen to the labels.”

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