Does Anxiety Impact Academic Performance?

In the past decade, the education system has become increasingly competitive and demanding in terms of academic workload and test taking. It is very common for children and adolescents to feel a heightened sense of worry about their ability to handle the demands of testing. Test anxiety has shown to interfere with one’s ability to succeed academically. It decreases working memory making it different to remember and apply learned information. Worry can impact how much control an individual feels they have over a situation too and can lead to poorer examination performance. When individuals feel they have control over their academic outcomes, they are more likely to obtain higher examination grades. Although it may seem frustrating that anxiety and worry can negatively impact your grades, increasing control over the outcome can put you back on top!

If you are considering psychological treatment for someone who is experiencing a great deal of test anxiety, cognitive-behavioral therapy has shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and enhancing self-esteem. Believing you are capable of success and in control of your academic performance can lead to greater effort, motivation, and perseverance. Seeking treatment to reduce test anxiety and increasing perceived control will help you demonstrate your subject knowledge more effectively during examination and lead to academic success. Additionally, reducing anxiety and improving your control will limit how much worry interferes with concentration, memory, and motivation to excel.

Putwain, D. W. & Aveyard, B. (2016). Is perceived control a critical factor in understandingthe negative relationship between cognitive test anxiety and examination performance? School Psychology Quarterly.

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