Psychological techniques to overcome exam anxiety: practical advice for students and teachers

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Test anxiety is common, but with the right strategies and resources, it can be managed. Whether you are a student or a teacher

Ah, test anxiety! Who among us, among students and teachers, has never tried it at least once in our lives? Those accelerated heartbeats, the feeling of unmotivated fear and sweaty hands… But what is hidden behind this anxiety? And how can we overcome it? Here is a complete guide to face and reduce the tension of the days (and nights) before the exam.

Definition and symptoms of exam anxiety

L’exam anxiety it is that worry and tension that you feel in view of a written or oral test. It manifests itself when we perceive the exam as a threat, fearing that we will not be up to par or that we will disappoint ourselves and others. This anxiety can present with physical symptoms such as stomach pain, tachycardia, tremors and sweating, but also with psychological symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. It is essential for students and teachers to recognize these signs, because once identified, you can start working to manage them.

The anxiety reaction is natural and part of our defense system. But when it becomes too intense and persistent, it can interfere with your ability to study and perform at your best. The key is finding the right balance, between a little tension that pushes us to give our best and excessive anxiety that blocks us.

The psychological causes of exam anxiety

But where does this anxiety come from? Many times it has deep roots, linked to expectations that we place on ourselves or that we hear from family and friends. The pressure of getting good grades, of not disappointing, can become an unbearable burden.

Furthermore, past negative experiences, such as a bad grade or a bad exam, can influence the student’s mind, leading him to generalize and think: “If it went bad once, it will always go wrong”. This type of thinking can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Each student has their own story and experiences. Understanding the roots of your anxiety can help you develop personalized strategies for coping with it.

Self-management strategies for students

Every student can take action to manage their anxiety. A very effective technique is deep breathing. When we’re anxious, we tend to breathe shallowly, but taking a moment to breathe deeply can calm the nervous system.

The positive visualization it can also make a difference. Imagine yourself passing the exam successfully and how you would feel. This can increase your self-confidence.

And finally, let’s not forget the importance of one organized preparation. Having a study plan, taking clear notes and taking regular breaks while studying can help reduce anxiety and help you feel ready for the exam.

The role of the psychologist in reducing exam anxiety

Sometimes, the anxiety can become too much to handle on your own. In these cases, a psychologist can provide support and tools to deal with it. Through individual sessions, the psychologist can help you understand the causes of anxiety and develop strategies to manage it. To find a professional near you, visit This site offers a list of specialists throughout Italy ready to help you.

The role of the teacher

The teacher has a fundamental role in the process of managing exam anxiety. By creating a comfortable exam environment and quiet, can help students feel at ease. It’s important too promote a positive attitudereminding students that an exam is just a moment and that they can prepare as best they can.

Furthermore, the teacher can offer or suggest psychological support resources to students, such as consultations or meetings with specialists, thus helping to reduce exam anxiety.

Resources and external support: when and whyIt is seek help

But when is it time to seek outside help? If you feel that anxiety is negatively affecting your daily life, or if you feel overwhelmed, it may be time to talk to a school counselor of uno psychologist. These professionals can provide support and tools to address and overcome test anxiety.

In conclusion, test anxiety is common, but with the right strategies and resources, it can be managed. Whether you are a student or a teacher, remember that you are not alone and that there are many resources available to help you.