Eight Part Series: How to Deal with Test Anxiety


Part Four: Practice Facing Anxiety


Psychologists have determined that successful approaches to reducing test anxiety address each of these components, either alone or in combination. Moreover, successful approaches to reducing test anxiety involve not only techniques for dealing with anxiety during the test, but also techniques for reducing one's anxiety response to the idea of taking the test itself. These techniques are not instant panaceas, but instead require practice to master. Developing techniques for reducing anxiety should be a standard part of your test preparation plan.


Read Part Three: The Components of Anxiety

Read Part Five: Remember to Relax

New Partnership with South Charlotte Sports Report


Educational Testing Consultants (ETC Test Prep), a Charlotte-based test preparation company, introduces a new partnership with South Charlotte Sports Report to provide exclusive test taking strategies and tips to area high school students who want to excel on their upcoming college entrance exams.

Each month, South Charlotte Sports Report will include an exclusive article featuring beneficial study strategies and tips written by ETC Test Prep’s expert instructors. In addition, ETC will feature upcoming courses available in South Charlotte and online to help better prepare students for the SAT. Students will receive special discounts only published in the South Charlotte Sports Report to enroll in these courses.

“We are very excited about our newly formed partnership with the South Charlotte Sports Report,” stated Steven Shotts, CEO at ETC Test Prep. “We are always looking for ways to help students achieve their academic goals, and the South Charlotte Sports Report provides the perfect avenue to help high school students succeed.”

ETC’s test preparation courses are designed by a team of former exam question writers and test preparation experts. In addition, the courses include comprehensive classroom instruction, experienced and expert instructors, preparation materials, easy-to-follow presentations and explanations, practice test opportunities, actual questions from previous exams, computer-adaptive software, and access to instructors beyond the classroom experience.

In addition to providing test preparation services to South Charlotte, ETC partners with colleges and universities across the country to offer test prep programs for college and graduate school entrance exams. ETC’s curriculum and instruction cover the most commonly administered entrance examinations for pre-college and post-graduate study; including the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT. ETC’s select staff of dedicated professionals has unparalleled experience working with students to ensure that each individual achieves his or her testing goals.

Readers will begin seeing ETC’s articles in August and can find them by visiting or on Facebook and Twitter (@prepcharlotte).

Eight Part Series: How to Deal with Test Anxiety


Part Three: The components of anxiety


Anxiety has three components – a bodily component, an emotional component, and a performative component. One way to think of these components is as in terms of a complicated system of feedback connections. For example, in a situation that triggers anxiety one has bodily sensations of various types – butterflies in the stomach, weak or trembling legs, shortness of breath, etc. These sensations are accompanied by emotions of self-doubt, expressed in thoughts concerning past failure or the inability to master a particular skill, for instance. These bodily and emotional responses in turn negatively impact one’s ability to perform a wide range of tasks, including those involved in test taking. This inability to perform tasks that may even be routine under other circumstances then reinforces the negative bodily and emotional responses, resulting in a spiral of gloom and doom. 


Read Part Two: Pre-Test Anxiety

Read Part Four: Practice Facing Anxiety

Eight Part Series: How to Deal with Test Anxiety


Part Two: Before the Test, Pre-Test Anxiety


For many students the very thought of an upcoming test can trigger anxiety. This “pre-test anxiety” can be especially harmful, since it can interfere with your preparation for the test in the first place. Not only can anxiety decrease your ability to retain the information you learn while studying, the very fact that studying for the test is itself a source of anxiety makes you less likely to study to begin with. In addition to the tips discussed below, one who experiences pre-test anxiety should develop a clear, easy-to-follow study plan – and stick to it. Many students find it helpful to study with others since they can be a source of encouragement and support. This is why many students with pre-test anxiety benefit from test prep in a class setting.


Read Part One: Test Anxiety in General

Read Part Three: The Components of Anxiety

Eight part series: How to deal with test anxiety

Part one: Test anxiety in general


Sweaty palms, a knot in the stomach, a sudden inability to comprehend the simplest sentence, a cloud of doom descending. Most people know these symptoms of anxiety first-hand through one experience or another – freezing up when called on by a teacher, botching a speech in front of a large audience, stage fright while performing in a play. Depending on the severity of the anxiety, the effects of anxiety can be debilitating.


Before proceeding, we must acknowledge that some anxiety before a test, or one of the public performances listed above, is actually quite normal. In fact, some studies have recently shown that some anxiety is not only normal, but also quite beneficial. Anxiety is one’s natural reaction to a stressful situation. When a stressful situation arises and one is forced to perform, the body reacts by in ways that are intended to heighten awareness, increase oxygen flow to the brain and body, and sharpen senses – all very positive reactions that will help one perform at their peak when the time is right. However, problems arise when the anxiety levels become so severe that they negatively impact one’s ability to concentrate and perform.


Approximately one-third of students experience severe anxiety during testing situations, a condition known as test anxiety. But as with the various forms of anxieties above, there are clear steps one can take to decrease test anxiety’s negative effects, both by reducing one’s likelihood of experiencing anxiety in the first place and by successfully coping with anxiety when it arises.


Read Part Two: Pre-Test Anxiety

ETC Test Prep Charlotte

366 George W. Liles Pkwy / Concord, NC 28027 / USA 855.258.7737