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

Students, staff weigh in on test anxiety

Katherine Osumah

Students shared their experiences with test anxiety, and how it affects their ongoing studies.

According to previous research carried out by the National Library of Medicine, up to 35% of college students in the U.S experience functionally impairing levels of test anxiety. 

Karina Barron, a second-year SE student described the physical feeling of test anxiety and its psychological effects on her.

“When I experience it, it feels like my heart begins to race and I convince myself that I can’t do anything and I’m going to fail the test,” Barron said. “I do make jokes about it, but nobody knows the severity of what I think about before a test.”

Some feel like anxiety simply stems from the stressful concept of testing, others think test anxiety only results from one’s unpreparedness. SE student Aigbokhai Sadiq, in the latter ideology.

“Whenever I feel any sort of stress or anxiety about a test, I keep it to myself and try and get over it,” he said. “It only ever happens whenever I prepare poorly for the test, so I can only blame myself.”

When asked how her test anxiety has affected her studying, SE student Feranmi Adeyemi said that she lets it motivate her performance rather than discourage her.

“I still have test anxiety, but it does not really affect my studies anymore,” she said. “It just makes me be extra prepared for the next time.” 

SE counselor Sam Weaver stated that up to 50% of college students who deal with anxiety also experience test anxiety. Weaver explained that test anxiety within students can be helped both cognitively and behaviorally by addressing the thinking internally and their surroundings externally.

“Anxiety is something that originates in our thinking,” he said. “If a student thinks they are not going to do well then they develop stress over that thought.”

Some behavioral changes Weaver suggests include having adequate sleep and nutrition before a test, as well as studying beforehand in a quiet and stress-free environment.

Beverly Johnson, an administrator at the SE Math Testing Lab, shared her observations on student behavior on test days.

“Students come in and they are typically more serious,” Johnson said “If I see a student entirely stressed, I refer them to a counselor on campus because there might be underlying issues.”

Weaver also suggests resources like Student Accessibility Resources and mental health counseling on campus. Both of which are free, and available to all students as long as they are enrolled in at least one class. 

“There is no such thing as a stress-free life,” he said. “We know college will bring some stress, but there are lots of resources to help students who struggle with test anxiety to do better academically.”

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