Stay Calm: CHS students, teacher reflect on anxiety during testing


Apurva Manas

Sophomore Yasmine Pehlivan poses for a speak-up photo. She said she gets especially anxious during testing or presentations.

Harini Ravichandran

A girl in a black dress waits outside of her English classroom as she bites her nails, she hesitates to enter the classroom. She has a presentation today, and her anxiety has kicked in.

“My anxiety is something I have to deal with on a daily basis; it has a big effect on me in a social gathering and in a school environment.”

Sophomore Yasmine Pehlivan is a part of the demographic of teenagers who suffer from medically diagnosed anxiety. A study from the National Institute of Mental Health reveals that 10 percent of all teenagers are medically diagnosed with anxiety. Female teenagers are twice as likely to be affected by medically diagnosed anxiety than males.  

Teens who have test anxiety particularly have a hard time during school, especially finals.

“Sometimes I crumble under the pressure. For me, the hardest part of finals is actually writing the test,” Pehlivan said. “This is when I feel helpless the most, I have an increased tendency to cry during finals and other tests that have a deciding factor in my future.”

For many students like Pehlivan, there is nothing more daunting than a test. As stated by Telegraph Co., some adrenaline is shown to be beneficial to test takers, but overwhelming amounts of stress have the opposite effect. Overwhelming amounts of stress act as negative motivation for test takers.

According to counselor Emily Clark, one of the best things students can do in moments of immense stress is self advocating. “Utilizing your resources is one of the best things you can do when you are dealing with a lot of stress, your parents, teachers, and counselors are here to help you succeed,” she said.

According to the American Test Anxieties Association, majority of students have reported that they are more stressed about school than anything else. Still, there are many students who said they are not stressed about school.

Sophomore, Amanda Durham, is part of the 80 percent of students who do not experience test anxiety. Despite her impressive schedule that consists of a medley of honors and AP classes, Durham said she is neither stressed nor anxious about school.

“I find that if I’m prepared for the test or presentation, I’m more confident and therefore, I don’t really get anxious over it, I find it to be pointless for me to worry all the time,” Durham said. Durham further said that she takes breaks in between studying for finals to alleviate any stress.

Oxford Learning stated when studying for finals, it is essential to take breaks after long periods of studying. Although taking breaks and being prepared is helpful in combating test anxiety, it is only a temporary solution.

“There is really no permanent solution but, you have to rationalize your fears and overcome them, the worst thing that will occur is, you will have to retake the test,” Clark said.