Examination anxiety

Are you actually familiar with the subject matter but unable to remember it during the exam? The mere thought of sitting an exam gives you palpitations? You feel underprepared or can’t achieve the grades you feel you should?

What is examination anxiety?

Exam anxiety – or exam nerves – is a term used to describe a state of agitation or anxiety experienced when faced with an assessment situation or the need to perform. The condition may induce a number of symptoms, including restlessness and physical symptoms such as shaking hands or sweating attacks. You may also experience dizziness or nausea from fear.

Exam anxiety can be related to different aspects of the exam:

  • fear of the exam situation
  • anxiety during an exam, blackouts
  • fear of the consequences of bad performance.

Being a bit nervous before an exam is perfectly normal and quite alright because it makes you concentrate better. Too much anxiety, however, can lead to a mental block.

The good news: Examination anxiety can be managed – once you have recognised you’re suffering from it.

What can I do to combat exam anxiety?

Examination anxiety feels different for everyone and has different causes. A number of strategies can help you manage your anxiety and to perform well in exam situations.