“Dave” was about to enter his senior year at Schaumburg High School in 2010 and came to me to eliminate his test anxiety. Dave was a good good high school student, but found that when he sat for exams he became nervous, had trouble recalling information, and was easily distracted by sounds, and even his own thoughts and fears. He second guessed himself and allowed this fear to increase each time he had to take another test.
Test Anxiety Attack Symptoms
There are many physical, emotional and psychological symptoms of anxiety attacks and they don’t always affect people the same way. Different events trigger different symptoms – in Dave’s case, it’s test anxiety. Different people will suffer different kinds of anxiety, with different intensity, duration, and frequency. Anxiety attacks are most common in people age 17-25 and research indicates that between 25 and 40% of students suffer from test anxiety.
Emotional distress can have a big impact on academic performance.
Some people feel like they are losing control or going crazy. Sometimes they suffer overwhelming fear of failure or agitation. It’s not uncommon to have numbness in extremities. Many ask whether they should fight or take flight.
Physically, you may exhibit signs of…
- Turning Pale
- Butterflies/Tight Stomach
- Heart Palpitations
- Chest Pain
- Weak Knees
- Shortness of Breath
- Chills or Hot Flushes
Some clients want to throw up. Many cry.
None of these symptoms help students with a semester final or college entrance exam.
His parents knew that Dave was well prepared for his exams and were concerned that his fears would affect a good outcome for the ACT and the SAT tests that Dave was going to take to get into the college of his choice.
His mom set up an appointment and Dave saw me for three sessions to address various components of test anxiety. He was given recordings to listen to at home.
As a result, Dave received a score of 30 out of a possible 36 on his ACT exam. Dave was accepted to the college program he wanted and now works in the field of his choice (at a prestigious Chicago firm). We recently spoke and he told me that he uses meditation in his life today because of the benefit he felt from our Hypnotherapy sessions and his resulting success.
Does your son or daughter need help dealing with test anxiety? Learn more about relieving stress by clicking here.