Anxious test takers experience intense nervousness, and nausea causes their mind to go blank. This can lead to low test results, despite exhaustive studying. Some even experience severe panic attacks, diarrhea, feelings of inadequacy, and hopelessness. Symptoms of test anxiety severely reduce the working memory – the part of our brain which holds most of the information used for complex mental tasks such as learning, reasoning, and understanding. Mild to severe cases of test anxiety are undeniably concerning. Not only does it reduce the success rate of students, but high-stress levels due to anxiety weaken the immune system.
Recent studies conducted by the American Test Anxiety Association, show that about 18% of students are distressed by moderately-high test anxiety. While an alarming rate of 22% suffer from high test anxiety. These results continue to rise due to the upsurge of standardize testing and insufficient support or remediation from school authorities.
Statistics, across the globe, estimated that anywhere between 10 to 40 percent of the total student population suffer from anxiety. Additionally, 18% of adults continue to have agonizing anxiety due to pressure and stress. However, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), only one third seek help and treatment. One undermining cause is the perception that anxiety as a phase that everyone can get over through time. Another is the dread of embarrassment and fear of social outcast. Nevertheless, test anxiety is a challenge that must be dealt with.