Increased pressure for high school students leads to test anxiety

Increased pressure for high school students leads to test anxiety

It’s officially the start of finals week for schools throughout central Illinois.

As students hit the books to study, test anxiety could start to play a factor.

"During finals week you see students have a mental breakdown,” said Ellie Whalen, a senior at Waverly High School.

Nearly 20 percent of U.S. students have severe test anxiety, according to the American Test Anxieties Association.

That’s around 10 million kids across the nation.

"I get really nervous, like clammy hands,” said Whalen.

Dustin Day, the superintendent for Waverly School District said there's many reasons test anxiety is so common.

"I think there is so much emphasis on exams now and grades than ever before," said Day.

He said the reason is students feel so much pressure to be number one in their class or to get that college scholarship.

“All of those factors go in and I think students just have so much pressure on themselves to do well or pressure that has been put upon them to do well that every single exam means so much to them."

Maddi Charles, another senior at Waverly High said her anxiety stems from getting college offers revoked.

"What's my grade going to show them when I'm done. What if I don't get that grade I wanted in the end," said Charles.

Charles said the only thing she can do to reduce her anxiety for test day is to make sure she's over prepared.

“Not really pushing yourself to the point you're just a mess but you need to push yourself to study and get as much in as you can,” said Charles.

Whalen has that same mentality.

“I’m basically going to every teacher asking what are we doing for this final, how do I need to study for this final. Just getting more information before it actually happens," said Whalen.

According to school officials, another factor that leads to test anxiety is from parents.

They said parents need to be aware of their child's abilities because everyone is different and not to expect the impossible.

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