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What is test anxiety?

Michele Borba
Psychology
These days it seems for many kids -- even if they've studied hard and done their homework -- when test day comes they're hit with a wave of panic. Butterflies hit their stomach and their heads are filled with a wave of negative thoughts: "I'm going to flunk." "I'm so dumb." And then their mind goes blank.

Diagnosis: "Test Anxiety." It's a growing new condition for students these days. Almost 20 percent of tweens and teens experience test anxiety, but with today's high-stakes testing, the condition is being diagnosed in even our youngest students.

Make no mistake, test-taking anxiety can be costly to our children's academic success as well as their emotional and physical well-being. What's more, stress from test anxiety can reduce kids' ability to focus and cause them to even "choke" on those answers that they studied for.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.