Test Anxiety Solutions
MDI Prep offers various strategies for different level of exams. We understand that no two test takers are the same, so the approach for one may be slightly different than another.
One of the most proven methods of overcoming test anxiety is the art of meditation. MDI Prep works with students to show them how to meditate and the benefits of meditation.
Content and knowledge
By far the number one way of overcoming test anxiety, is to feel more confident in your content knowledge regarding the exam. MDI Prep offers tutorials and courses that can help build your knowledge for the exam. We have experts in many academic areas that can assist you.
What Is Test Anxiety?
Feeling a little nervous before a big exam is okay, but when this nervousness turns into fear, then you have entered into the realm of text anxiety. Tension and apprehensiveness associated with taking a test, frequently resulting in a decrease in test performance is defined as Test Anxiety. In most instances the anticipation of taking the test can be more stressful than the actual test day. This can jeopardize your ability to focus, relax, and think critically during the test. All of these things combined can affect your overall outcome on the exam.
According to Kennedy T. Hill; Allan Wigfield with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, at about the second grade, children begin to compare their performance with other children, which can lead to competition and pressure to do better than most others. This coupled with parent expectations, can exacerbate the idea of text anxiety in a student.
Test Anxiety Symptoms
There are many ways to identify if you are suffering from test anxiety symptoms. This include, but not limited to:
- Difficulty breathing
- Headaches or migraines
- Muscle tension
- Excessive sweating
- Feeling hot
Potential cognitive symptoms of testing anxiety could include:
- Persistently comparing yourself to others
- Blanking out (feeling as if you can’t remember any important information)
- Negative thoughts about yourself
- Flashbacks or ruminating thoughts about past performances
- Dread about the consequences of failure
- Pressured thoughts related to “needing to study more” or “study harder”
Emotional symptoms of testing anxiety may include:
- Irritation or anger towards oneself (or the test administrator)
- Excessive fear
- Disappointment in oneself
What Causes Test Taking Anxiety?
Like with most anxiety conditions, there doesn’t appear to be a single cause for test anxiety. Instead, it’s more likely that this anxiety emerges from a combination of factors.
Many students get especially anxious about timed tests. Students with recurring, high levels of test anxiety, regardless of specific testing conditions, may have higher levels of general anxiety or perfectionistic tendencies.
Test anxiety may be caused by one or multiple of these factors:
- Fear of failure: Many people measure their confidence and self-worth based on their performance. As a result, these individuals may internalize any perceived instances of failure as them being a failure.
- Lack of preparedness or awareness: In some cases, you may feel unprepared for the test. You may not have studied well enough, or you may not have studied the right material. Seeing those first few questions—and not knowing how to answer them correctly—may trigger anxiety.
- Struggling with testing in the past: A history of issues with testing and performance may trigger negative thoughts about yourself and your ability to succeed. These thought patterns can spiral into anxiety, reinforcing a vicious cycle of nervousness before future tests.
- External pressure: If a parent, coach, or teacher has overly high expectations for your behavior, you may feel even more responsible for impressing them. This pressure may exacerbate anxiety.
- Unrealistic fears: Having unfounded worries, such as believing loved ones won’t think you’re smart or that your entire career will be doomed if you fail an exam, can exacerbate test anxiety.2
The 5’s approach to Overcome Test Anxiety
S = Schedule (It is important to set a schedule of when you will study, when you will sleep and when you will play). The schedule should be strict and flexible. During the workshop Dr. Sutton showed students how to put an effective schedule together.
S= Study (Many students think they know how to study, only to find out their study methods are actually causing them more anxiety in the long run). Dr. Sutton show students how to become active readers when studying by employing the simple questions of “Why and How”. Why is what I am reading important and How does it all tie together?
S = Stimulate (Understanding the foods and things that could stimulate the hippocampus are important). This hippocampus is the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory. These foods include:
- Fatty fish.
- Blueberries. …
- Turmeric. …
- Broccoli. …
- Pumpkin seeds. …
- Dark chocolate. …
S = Silence (Dr. Sutton show students how to meditate and focus). The art to breathing and oxygenating the brain are key to memory. Three 15-minute meditation sessions can relieve 70% of anxiety related to the exam, when done properly.
S = See it before it happens (The power of the visualizing the outcome you want before it happens. This sounds easy but does require some rewiring of the brain. Seeing it first has been extremely beneficial in helping to remove any anxious thoughts).
Although test anxiety can feel frustrating, practicing different relaxation and cognitive strategies can help you feel less nervous. Commit to trying new ways to cope with your test anxiety. Practicing them often will help them become more second-nature in your routine. If it seems too difficult to do on your own, contact the MDI Prep office for assistance.
All sessions are done online with an expert instructor or mentor. Each session starts with an evaluation to determine the unique need of the student.
Each test anxiety or testing strategy session last 30-45 minutes depending on what’s covered. All academic tutorial sessions are 1 hour in duration.
Unfortunately we do not take insurance.
The number of sessions would be dependent on your outcome goals and the time required to reach them. Typically, most students attend to sessions per week.
Yes. Everything discussed is confidential.
The cost of each session ranges from $80-$150 depending on the level of service. Cost will be discussed before services are provided.
If you have struggled to pass your exam despite using other techniques, then test anxiety solutions is definitely right for you.
Most students can find success after 3-4 sessions. However, we have some students that have required quite a bit more. It really depends on your level of test anxiety and content knowledge for the exam.
Our office is located in Houston, Texas. Our sessions are conducted online, but we do offer in person sessions if requested.
We do not prescribe medication.
The best way to show success is by improving the exam scores and reaching your desired result.