OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

What Causes Test Anxiety?

Test Anxiety

While most college students experience some anxiety when taking an exam, students with test anxiety view tests as threats.  This may be a result of past experiences of “failure,” overly high expectations, or outside pressures to do well.  Sometimes a pattern is set up:  the more a student “fails” at taking exams, the worse the test anxiety becomes. 

Poor study habits, poor test-taking strategies, and lack of self-confidence can cause test anxiety.  Students with test anxiety often do not believe in their own abilities.   Students with test anxiety often think that their entire future depends on their performance on a test.  This belief leads to intense worrying that they will fail this test and therefore will have no chances for future success.

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