Jessica Danilewitz, M.A., C.C.C.
Being a student is stressful. The semester gets started and before you look around and gather your bearings it’s already time for midterms. As if the academic work load wasn’t enough to handle on its own other parts of life start becoming stressful and overwhelming too. Suddenly the stakes feel higher for this exam and the sweaty palms, heart rate elevation, and negative thoughts start kicking in (“I’m going to fail”). Test anxiety is real and it can be debilitating. It can stop you from thinking clearly and being able to access the information you worked so hard to store in your memory. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I believe that with the right tools, techniques and guidance anyone can learn to walk into their exam a little bit more confidently and clear headed, so that you can focus on the test and only the test.
I like to take a three-pronged approach when combatting test anxiety:
When working with clients I come from the perspective that the client is the expert on his or her experience. They have completed exams in the past, know how prepared they are for the exam, and they know what is getting in the way now from performing like they used to. Working collaboratively to better understand and prepare for obstacles, capitalizing on strengths, and learning healthier coping strategies are all important parts of learning to manage student anxiety. - JD
Jessica provides individual and group supports at FLEX Psychology. She is co-facilitating our Start Fresh Learning Strategies group at the end of August and our Managing Student Anxiety group in September. She is also available for individual support in our Thornhill office and online.
The information provided on the Think FLEXibly Blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as therapeutic advice.