There is hope for students with test anxiety

Holly Chaney

Sweaty palms, a racing heart and dizziness are just a few examples of what students may experience through test anxiety.

Test anxiety, as described by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, or ADAA, is marked by a range of physical symptoms that include “headache, nausea, diarrhea, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, light-headedness and faintness.”

In addition to these physical symptoms, a person experiencing test anxiety may also experience distressing emotional symptoms such as, “anger, fear, helplessness and disappointment,” says ADAA.

The unfortunate reality for many college students is that making the grade is not only about studying and being prepared, but it is also about managing a fear of failure.

Douglasville student and pre-pharmacy major Soriah Fleury shared her own experience with this phenomenon. “When I had college algebra, I felt all of this pressure at the last minute that I wasn’t good enough,” Fleury said.

She continued, “I would stay up for countless nights and indulge in caffeine until I understood the material in various ways.”

Students, like Fleury, are not alone in their struggles. Students looking for someone who shares their anxiety on test day need not look any farther than the peer sitting next to them.

While the severity of anxiety is wide, it is a shared part of the college experience.

However pervasive the issue, tackling tests with minimal anxiety is a possibility for students. Those looking for coping methods have quite a few options.

One such resource is online. A simple Google search for “test anxiety” returns eighteen million hits.

When looking for legitimate help online, students should consider trustworthy sources such as the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education.

Students who would like one-on-one counseling concerning their testing anxiety can talk directly to their professor in preparation for the exam.

A professor can be a number one ally for those who want to see if they are studying the right way or if they understand something correctly.

Another option offered to students is GHC Student Support Services. These professionals are there to help and are a very knowledgeable resource for struggling students.

Students seeking assistance through personal or academic counseling can find out more information about the Student Support Services on their campus by vising Georgia Highlands’ website at www.highlands.edu/site/student-support-services.