Test-Taking Anxiety: Far more common than parents realize

By SAT ACT Test Prep

137839-425x282-how-to-overcome-test-taking-anxiety_1_Katlyn, a seemingly happy junor from Guilford High School, approached me with tears in her eyes. “I didn’t know there were so many students with test-taking anxiety.  I’ve never told anyone.”

During our SAT-ACT Mastery Seminars held in Madison and Old Saybrook – as well as in school at Old Saybrook High School, Valley Regional High School in Deep River, and Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Southeastern Connecticut Chinese School, and The Williams School in New London, we present a section on the psychology of performance.  We address test-taking anxiety and strategies to battle it. It may be the lecture that has students most attentive.

Most teens do not talk about their anxiety.  They don’t tell their peers for fear of appearing vulnerable.  They don’t tell their parents for fear of a lecture.  Due to the Student Mastery Program that I created years ago in an effort to provide a holistic approach to student training, I listened to many students express their fears. This often happened during the motivational segment of the work.  I was surprised by how prevalent test-taking anxiety came up as a challenge.

During our SAT classes over the past few years, some large part of our success has come from lowering the anxiety of our students.  In addition to providing techniques to helping master the test (thereby lowering anxiety due to mastery) and providing techniques to lower test-taking anxiety (directly addressing the issue), the process of exposure to the test does wonders to reduce the anxiety of the unknown.