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.

Fortunately help is available via: online video consultations , telephone or face to face sessions so call 0429 88 3671.

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 us today or alternatively, use our online booking system to set you appointment today.

4 Good Reason You Should Call Us!

Quick appointments no matter where you live in Australia. Online shyness, public speaking and anxiety treatment available.

Minimal out of pocket expense (Medicare & Health fund Rebates)

Clinical Psychologist with approx. 25 years of experience. Also offering virtual reality exposure therapy.

Business hours, After hours and Saturdays appointments

Frequently Asked Questions

Anxiety Australia is an anxiety clinic in Hawthorn, Melbourne that is run by Catherine Madigan, who is a clinical psychologist. She primarily focuses on treating anxiety disorders and stress management techniques to individuals and businesses through one on one consultations and stress management workshops.

She offers professional, discreet and confidential treatment options that work.

Catherine’s effective anxiety treatments offered in Melbourne can help you overcome disorders such as:

Call now for an appointment on 0429 883 671

The website provides information about anxiety disorders and the treatment options available. You will also find contact details for other psychologists around Australia who have substantial experience in and/or work primarily with anxiety disorders.

Catherine Madigan is a Melbourne based Clinical Psychologist. She is passionate about empowering clients with confidence. The reason her focus is primarily on the treatment of anxiety disorders is that she gains great satisfaction by witnessing the freedom and life changing results her therapies can deliver.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in Australia, with 1/7 people (14% of the population) reporting having had an anxiety disorder in the last 12 months. Women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than men, 18% vs 11%. ABS National Survey of Mental Health & Wellbeing, Summary of Results 2007.

Anxiety or fear is a normal response to a present or imagined threat. Mild fear can be helpful as it enables us to respond quickly when faced with a dangerous situation and to be alert in difficult situations (e.g. exams). However, excessive fear may lead to people being paralysed e.g. soldiers under attack may be so afraid they can’t move to take cover, public speakers may find they go blank, forget their lines and are rendered speechless.

Anxiety is a normal emotion as it affects most people and is widespread. You would be abnormal if you didn’t experience fear sometimes. However, if your anxiety is out of proportion to the situation you are experiencing and/or persists in the absence of threat, e.g you worry about events months ahead or are experiencing anxiety long after the danger has passed, you may need professional help.

Some people are more prone to experiencing anxiety than others and it is not caused by just one thing but by a combination of factors including: genetics, family environment and traumatic life experiences. Sufferers may have unhelpful thinking patterns such as perfectionist standards. Nevertheless, you can learn to manage your anxiety more effectively.

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