Test Anxiety Hurts Academic Performance and Mental Health

Test Anxiety is a common issue among students and can hurt their academic performance and mental health. Teachers play a crucial role in helping students cope with exam stress and supporting them in achieving their educational goals. In this blog post, we will explore the causes of test anxiety, its effects on students, and how teachers can help students manage it.

Leading Causes of Test Anxiety

One of the leading causes of exam stress is the pressure to perform well academically. Students may feel pressure from parents, teachers, and peers to achieve high grades and succeed in their studies. They may also feel pressure to meet the expectations of colleges and universities, which can be a significant source of stress for students preparing to take entrance exams. Furthermore, students may be under the false impression that grades are a representation of their personal worth.

Another cause of exam stress and anxiety is the fear of failure. Students may fear not performing well on exams and worry about the consequences of not achieving their academic goals. This fear can lead to anxiety, making it difficult for students to focus and perform well on exams.

The Effects of Test Anxiety on Students

Exam stress can have several adverse effects on students. 

  • It can lead to decreased academic performance, as students may need help to focus and remember information during exams. 
  • It can also lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and stomachaches.
  • Additionally, exam stress can harm mental health, causing anxiety and depression.

How Can Educators Help?

To help students cope with exam stress, teachers can take several steps. One of the most important things teachers can do is provide students with clear and detailed information about exams, including the format, content, and expectations. This can help students to feel more prepared and less anxious about exams.

Another way that teachers can help students cope with test anxiety is by providing them with regular opportunities to review and practice the material. This can help students feel more confident and prepared for exams, and it can also help them identify and address any areas of weakness.

Teachers can also help students develop effective study strategies and time management skills. For example, teachers can teach students the benefits of breaking study sessions into shorter, more frequent chunks rather than cramming all of the material into a single, long session. Additionally, teachers can teach students the importance of taking breaks and getting enough rest, which can help reduce stress and improve performance.

Another essential step teachers can take to help students cope with exam stress is providing emotional support. This can include providing a listening ear and offering words of encouragement. Teachers can also help students identify and address any emotional or mental health concerns contributing to their stress.

In addition, teachers can also help students develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. This can include teaching students about mindfulness and meditation techniques and encouraging them to engage in physical activity or other forms of relaxation, such as yoga or reading.

BASE Education’s Modules for Test Anxiety

As a mental health and social emotional learning solution, BASE education offers modules  to equip students with the skills and tools needed to handle the stress and anxiety brought on by exams. 

Modules that can help elementary students are:

  • Anger
  • Coping Strategies
  • Emotions
  • Keeping Calm
  • Worries

Modules for secondary students are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Motivation
  • Stress Management
  • Self-Esteem

Click this link for a complete list of modules.

If you would like to see how the BASE platform can help your students cope with exam stress and anxiety, a BASE teammate would be happy to show you a live demonstration. Simply request a demo today to get started.