Exam Anxiety



Exam anxiety (fear of taking a test of one’s ability, skill, or knowledge) can be a debilitating condition for school and university students and may have serious consequences for one’s future goals.

Some people will have sleepless nights prior to a test. Others may find they feel nauseous before and/or during an exam or have full blown panic attacks. Some students are so stressed before and/or during asessments that they find their mind goes blank and they can’t think/recall information.


Some students will be stressed because they fear failing, whereas others will be stressed because they fear not living up their own, or others high expectations.


Some Tips For Coping With Exam Anxiety

Don’t stay up late studying the night before an test. Being tired will negatively impact on your judgement, concentration and memory.

Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine prior to an exam as these will exacerbate your anxiety.


Do some form of relaxation prior to the test. You may find it helpful to do some form of aerobic exercise such as jogging or power walking on the morning of the assessment. Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and/or slow breathing may also be helpful.

Learn a relaxation technique that you can do whilst in the examination room, such as slow breathing and/or progressive muscle relaxation.


Do practice exams to accustom yourself to the test environment and the expectations of the examiner. VCE and university students should be able to access past papers, and VCE students may be able to access examiner’s reports, which will give them insight into how they are expected to answer questions.

We also offer help for those suffering from exam anxiety attacks.


Overcoming Exam Anxiety Workshops & Lectures

Catherine Madigan, clinical psychologist, is available to speak to Victorian school and tertiary students on the topic of exam anxiety.

‘Coping With Exam Anxiety’ courses can be tailored to the needs of your school.

Presentations can run from half an hour to a half day workshop.

Phone (03) 9819 3671 or email catherine@socialanxietyassist.com.au

Alternatively, use our online booking system to set you appointment today.

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