Research in the “Journal of Contemporary Educational Psychology (2002)” finds that test anxiety accounts for a 7-8 percent variance in test scores between students who experience test anxiety and their low anxiety peers.

Collin College Counseling and Career Services Associate Dean Linda Qualia agrees stating that test anxiety can certainly serve as a barrier to positive performance.

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“Some anxiety or concern is necessary for motivation,” Qualia said. “When it interferes with performance, then it can be a problem. If one is prepared for the situation and still experiences high level of panic and doubt, then there may a more serious problem.”

However, Qualia emphasizes there are ways for students who suffer from test anxiety to manage their symptoms.

“Be prepared,” Qualia said. “Use good time management skills and do not wait until the last minute to study. Managing one’s time and knowing how to study is essential to preparation.  The more one feels prepared, the more one can feel confident about their performance.”

Attitude is another factor she suggests students can control. Improving attitude about test taking should combat excessive fear. In addition, it is important to take care of oneself physically and emotionally before a test. Actions that promote self-care include adequate sleep, healthy eating, exercise, relaxation and laughter.

Qualia said Collin College Counseling Services (972.881.5126 0r http://www.collin.edu/studentresources/counseling) offers a variety of services and brochures focused on study skills and suggests the following website for more tips: http://www.dr-bob.org/vpc/virtulets.html#Study-Skills.

“The habits one learns and reinforces in college will translate into the world of work,” Qualia said. “Habits such as time management help learning new tasks, performing optimally and managing ones’ work day to be the most efficient and productive process possible.”