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At many points throughout our life we experience anxiety; as a college

student, test anxiety can impacts our academic performance negatively. The
following case scenario demonstrates this concept: Katya who is a freshman in
college experiences anxiety although she spends a lot of time studying. With the
semester ending soon, Katya is under a lot of pressure to do well on her chemistry
test or shell lose her scholarship. The test has her so overwhelmed that she had a
panic attack two days before the exam.
I can relate to Katya because I have faced situations like this, especially
during my LVN program. Although I dedicated a lot of my time to study and review
before any test, I would always question myself before starting the test and I would
create such a stressful situation for myself. Final exams have been the worst for me,
thats when I really feel the pressure. I remember that for my Med-Surgical final
exam I had to get a 95% on my final in order to pass the class; since I had missed a
huge project. I was really stressing out, all I had was that one shot to make it to the
next module of the LVN program. I had such a bad panic attack, there was a
moment where my brain just froze and I couldnt remember anything. I remember I
was trying to count to 10 and do the deep-breathing exercises when one of the
teachers came over and advise me relax and concentrate and that I would be fine. I
was so proud of myself after getting a 100% on my final exam and passing the
class.
What I try to do before taking an exam is setting up a study time where I
review all of my notes and go back to my textbook only if I need to. I always try to
study in a quiet room where I know nothing will distract me, and my phone will
definitely be off or not near me at all. Determining good study habits have
increased my self-efficacy, and I have not had test anxiety like this again. I believe

its normal to stress out a little before any test or any important assignment or
presentation; but we must also learn how to relax in order to have a better chance
of doing a better job. We cant let our emotions take over us, we must learn to
control them.
In order for Katya to avoid having panic attacks, she must first build her
sense of self-efficacy in and out of the classroom. Katya can increase her selfefficacy by exercising, setting goals and accomplishing them through exercise;
anyone can feel better about themselves and about our abilities to execute a better
plan (Katula). Exercise is not only a method to increase self-efficacy, but it is also a
healthy alternative to fight stress (Katula). Katya can answer questions and
participate in discussions in the classroom. Sharing her knowledge with others is
also a good way to build self-efficacy because it builds her self-confidence and selfesteem. Therefore, self-efficacy can be considered as the foundation of a good
academic performance.
After Katya increases her self-efficacy, she needs to learn good study
habits. The learning deficit model, which explains the negative effects of test
anxiety on academic performance, proposes that it is the students ineffective
study habits during preparation for a test that causes them to be anxious and
affects performance on the test (Sansgiry). Good study habits involve goal setting
and time management. Instead of cramming at the last minute, Katya could give
herself more time by having a planner and setting goals for how much studying she
should be doing a day. This method is useful for not only school, but for her work
and personal life. Katya should have also talked to her professor earlier on about
her grades and what she could have done in order to improve them before waiting

until the end of the semester. Professors can suggest better study habits and
provide feedback on their students approach towards learning the class material.
From a health prospective, Katya should surround herself with positive
people and avoid negative, stressful environments in order to help decrease her
anxiety. The kind of people we surround ourselves with can influence our attitude
and behaviors towards others and ourselves, which can either increase or decrease
our confidence, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and overall way of thinking. Katya can
also try yoga to decrease anxiety and increase optimism. Yoga has been found to
tame the stress response by improving moods and reducing the heart rate,
lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration (Yoga for anxiety and depression).
Like exercise, yoga would allow Katya to decrease her stress and focus her attention
on positive energy.
If I were in Katyas shoes, I would seek professional help. Most schools
provide psychological services, where students can talk to psychologists and
counselors about their stress, life problems, and school-related concerns at little or
no cost. Katya needs someone who can give her professional advice on how to
cope with stress and boost her confidence to study hard and perform the best she
possibly can on her exams. There are many ways in which Katya could have
prevented herself from having an anxiety attack before her exam. Proper
management of time, realistic and specific goal setting, good study habits,
increased self-efficacy, and seeking professional help are all ways to aid Katya in
avoiding test anxiety and stress and in becoming a better student.

References:
Katula, J. E. (1999). Exercise Intensity and Self-Efficacy Effects on Anxiety Reduction
in Healthy, Older Adults. Journal Of Behavioral Medicine, 22(3), 233.
Sansgiry, S. S., & Sail, K. (2006). Effect of Students Perceptions of Course Load on
Test Anxiety. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 70(2), 26.
Yoga for anxiety and depression. (2009). Harvard Mental Health Letter, 25(10), 4-5.