Anxiety is an internal feeling of dread when there is no tangible threat.

Test anxiety is a form of anxiety that is specific to testing and evaluation circumstance.

The symptoms of test anxiety can be

  • physical (headache, rapid heartbeat),
  • emotional (anger, depression), or
  • cognitive (going blank, difficulty concentrating)

These symptoms can lead to a test anxiety cycle, and can continue to increase test anxiety:

Test Anxiety Cycle

Make PEACE with Test Anxiety


  • Develop good study habits.
  • Review some everyday. No cramming.
  • Manage your time well.
  • Ask for help when you don’t understand or you don’t have the skills.
  • Improve your test taking skills.
  • Attend class regularly.
  • Write and answer practice questions.

Eat right and exercise

  • Get adequate rest.
  • Move.
  • Eat well.
  • Hydrate.


  • Develop reasonable expectations.
  • Avoid irrational thoughts about catastrophic results.
  • Reward yourself for dedicated study habits.
  • Be your own cheerleader with positive self-talk.

Control the fear

  • Understand the underlying cause of test anxiety is the fear of failure.
  • Change: I can’t do it to I can do it!
  • Change: I ’m stupid to I’m smart!
  • Change: I  don’t know to I know!


  • Use positive self-talk.
  • Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or visualization.
  • Don’t arrive too early.
  • Don’t get distracted by others.

Helpful Resources