"My hands are shaking, I can't write anything, I don't remember anything."
Experts call it Test Anxiety - "uneasiness or tensions that can interfere or even impair a test- takers ability to think and perform on a test," states psychologist of Sam Houston State University Counseling Center. Test anxiety is a form of Performance anxiety refers to self – consciousness and anxiousness about the quality of one's performance – an awareness that hinders performance instead of helping.
Symptoms of testing anxiety are manifested as nervousness before and during exams, muscular tensions, pain in various parts of body, increased sweating, frequent or constant headaches, butterflies in stomach, feeling dizzy or faint, feeling tired and fatigues constantly, restlessness, inability to remember, lack of proper sleep, loss of appetite or excessive eating, feelings of empty – headedness, negative thinking, irritation, and constant sadness. Under such stressful situations a series of cognitive distortions may take place." I am stupid", I'll fail," I will never be able to do this." At times it is inexplicable to state a reason for such an anxious attitude before or during exam especially for the bright and hardworking students. Students get so nervous that when faced with a test sheet, their minds go blank even if they are well prepared.
Some researches give a physiological explanation for test anxiety. According to them, when a child prepares for a test, the information is stored in the short- term memory. The area of the brain that controls short term memory is also the centre for emotion. Thus when a child becomes anxious during a test, the emotional upheaval overrides the child’s ability to retrieve the information from the short-term memory.