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Tackling test anxiety - some practical tips

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On a cold February day, the summer exam season might seem a long way off. But for lots of students February half term is the time when they begin to prepare for exams. Time to draw up revision timetables and get organised. And for some students it is a time when anxiety can begin to bite.

We all feel some degree of anxiety about being ‘tested’ – whether that is taking a driving test, being interviewed or sitting an exam. But for some students this anxiety can be debilitating and they can struggle to perform – to show what they know and can do.

Anxiety can be caused by many different factors but much more is now known about the causes of anxiety, and how to treat it. And that includes anxiety that is caused by exams.

So what can you do if you’re a student feeling anxious, or if you’re a teacher, parent or carer wanting to support students in tackling their anxiety?

We have a number of resources on our website including a guide for students on coping with anxiety about exams. This was written with experts in the field of test anxiety from Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Manchester, some of whom have also written a series of blogs.

These resources include lots of different tips and tools that work for different situations, and there are also carefully designed packages – combinations of things which have been tested and found to work. There is also a list of resources which we hope you find useful.

If you’re interested in the detail of the research literature underpinning best practice in this area, we have published a review.

After half term, and in the run-up to the Easter break, we’ll be publishing more blogs so watch this space.

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