exam anxiety

Although anxiety is useful and necessary because it motivates to learn something new and set a goal; High and intense anxiety causes failure. Exam anxiety is defined as intense anxiety that prevents the effective use of the learned information during the exam and leads to a decrease in success. It prevents success and motivation to study in individuals who are preparing for the exam. The meanings that a person gives to the exam and being successful, the image he creates in his mind, and his thoughts and beliefs about the situation after the exam affect this situation and increase anxiety. The person generalizes academic failure and perceives it as a personal failure, and sees failure as disappointing parents, insecurity and incompetence. Symptoms such as restlessness, uneasiness, distress, reluctance to study, nausea, internal distress, sweating, sleep disorders, stomachaches, and deterioration in attention and concentration can be seen in a person experiencing exam anxiety. Despite working hard, poor performance can also indicate the presence of anxiety. Due to these complaints, a significant decrease is observed in the student’s success. They are uncomfortable with postponing the study, talking about the exam and being asked questions. Complaints such as not being able to understand what one reads, not being able to convey what has been learned, not being able to organize thoughts, decreased attention, and weakening in mental skills are observed.

Having unrealistic ways of thinking is the most important factor in the formation of anxiety. Extremely perfectionist personality structure, low tolerance for mistakes and failure, putting too much meaning in the exam, social environment and family pressure also play a role in increasing anxiety. Dysfunctional thoughts such as “I will be disgraced if I fail”, “Everyone thinks badly about me” are the main reasons underlying test anxiety.

To cope with exam anxiety; It is important not to suppress anxiety, but to accept it and try to recognize it. Unrealistic thoughts and beliefs should be questioned. Alternative thoughts should be brought to negative thoughts. Stopping thoughts and trying to focus elsewhere, breathing exercises and attention-raising exercises can also help reduce anxiety.

MERVE KEVLEKCI

EXPERT PSYCHOLOGIST

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