Here is a plan to reduce test anxiety for good. Test anxiety has crippling effects on teens, but knowing exam stress’ causes and effects gives you a head start.

Test anxiety, a.k.a. exam stress, strikes while we prepare for exams. The causes of test anxiety: fear and procrastination. These two demons make focused study impossible.

Test anxiety affects not only exams but also entire lives. We waste precious time by cramming; in time, instinct drives us to use mad techniques.

Test anxiety is outside healthy study–or learning. You can curb test anxiety by being aware, planning, and executing with strict discipline.

Causes of Test Anxiety

You and I differ in metrics, yet we are both but human. In turn, some causes of test anxiety show (almost) every–this is an educated opinion-time: aspiration, fear, and procrastination. Aspiring idealistically, i.e. aiming too high can be as deadly as procrastinating, i.e. delaying progress.


Aspiring to smooth robotic reads is idealism and may fare you poorly. Do you not realize in every step how little the last mattered?
On my correcting her, mom retorts, “Oh, be not so idealistic.” Now I have realized the argument’s grounds: people striving for perfect fail much more.


Fear strikes at full tilt. First, new information strikes the “shock” chord. The cure: absorb enough, not all. Second, we lose ourselves in the moment, unable to think clearly. The remedy: take breaks; consider the possibilities. Last, there is not enough time. The solution: stop looking at the clock.


Procrastination diverts us from study onto quests for pleasure. Work piles up, and the clock ticks on. Tough transitions from, e.g., gaming, intensify easy study.
Therefore, know and take proper steps. For instance, routines tame the beast of procrastination; outlines reduce unnecessary exposure to information; and deadlines control aspiration.

Test Anxiety Weakens Memory

Have you ever found yourself forgetting the answers to questions on a test that you have practised? One out of two kinds of stress causes this:

A. “Time” stress, i.e. deadline pressure

Time stress is the nail-biting anxiety you get as the sun rises and sets but you lag behind. As days pass, you draw your attention to the calendar, and mark off days in red marker ink. The test draws closer, but you procrastinate. Finally, you do too little too late.
Despite the scary name, “deadline pressure” can come in handy. Your naturally hastened responses may incite fear and/or efficiency.

B. “Shock” stress

Shock stress is the anxiety that you get while you flip the question paper. “Is everything in Mandarin?” Then, the clock ticks sound like swords clashing–tiny needles pricking your skin.
You know this math, which you have done a thousand times. Yet you do not. You skip questions with no logical reason. You go on instinct, not giving each question equal time.
Practice in similar conditions reduces this “shock” stress. And, in sum, no situation ever calls for stress–not even exams.

How to Reduce Test Anxiety

By now, you must know whence test anxiety takes roots (its causes) and how test anxiety wreaks havoc. In all honesty, these take much time to cure. Yet, the solutions are simple and easy to apply.

A. Planning considering test conditions

1. Routine

Discipline comes first.

  • Incorporating journaling: List tasks regularly.
  • Social media blockers: Restrict social media use.
  • Time-management apps: Use free time-management apps.

2. Outline

How to make epic outlines:

  1. Title: First, name chapters.
  2. Headings: Write some headings.
  3. Diagrams: Finally, review the diagrams.

3. Deadlines

Deadlines reduce stress.


Responsibilities highlight your dedication.


Reward and punish yourself.

Stop procrastinating

Beware of slacking off.

B. Growing confidence for the exam

Having prepared, confidence is key.

A. Planning considering test conditions

Planning involves three steps:

A) Broad knowledge over specific

  • Memorize methods, not answers.
  • Ensure you understand every type of question.
  • Here, quantity may win over quality.

B) Ditch the answer key

  • In practice, only use the answer key as a last resort
  • Treat the answer key as an addiction.

C) Study smart, not hard

  • You need not read every bit.
  • Use routine, outline, and deadlines.

You now know of aspiration, fear, and procrastination; “shock” stress; and routine, outline, and deadlines–test anxiety keywords. These preliminary terms go a long way in your future test preparation. I intend to engage with you, the reader, so that you reconsider your strategy, hopefully for the better.
With you using the causes, effects, and remedies of test anxiety, i.e. exam stress, it will cripple you no more. Lift up your spirits and go forth. Suggestions are welcome.


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