Causes of Tension and Stress
According to Pauk (1984), test anxiety results from tension, not stress. Stress is the response of the body to any and all demands placed on it. Tension, however, results when the body responds in the wrong way to stressors.
Stress is like body temperature - it goes up and down. One must create a balance. One's body cannot tell the difference between positive stress and negative stress. For some people, some amount stress improves task performance; but for many, stress hampers one's ability to perform task.
With respect to tests, anxiety often arises for one or more of the following reasons. Do any of them sound familiar?
Do you experience test anxiety? How severe is it? How vulnerable are you to stress? Two means of evaluating your propensity to stress in general and to test anxiety in particular are provided below. If you are negatively affected by test anxiety, refer to the strategies described later in this page for ideas on coping with it. Develop a test anxiety and stress management plan.