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Managing Stress and Test Anxiety

One of the most common issues facing students is anxiety. While mild anxiety can be expected before exams, interviews and oral presentations, it can become detrimental if it begins to interfere with daily living.

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, over 40 million individuals are diagnosed with anxiety disorders annually. At college campuses throughout the nation, the number of students experiencing anxiety-related conditions is increasing.

Anxiety Symptoms

If the following symptoms are experienced on a regular basis, it is recommended a student seek assistance:

  • Unrealistic or excessive worry and fears
  • Excessive sweating, trembling, shakiness, muscle aches
  • Stomach upset, diarrhea, extreme dry mouth
  • Dizziness, chronic tension headaches
  • Racing or pounding heart, rapid pulse, chest tightness
  • Ritualistic behaviors to reduce or avoid anxiety
  • Extreme or prolonged feelings of disappointment, anger, depression, helplessness

Test Anxiety Can Affect Student Learning

One type of anxiety faced by students is test anxiety. While a certain level of nervousness is common for students, especially when facing challenging exams and courses, it is the level of anxiety that differentiates the condition.

Excessive worry can perpetuate a cycle that erodes confidence and interferes with learning and performance. Characteristics of test anxiety include:

  • Feelings of "going blank" during exams
  • Racing heart, breathing difficulty and feeling like the room is "closing in" during exams
  • Sudden knowledge of answers after turning in tests
  • Low/inconsistent scores on exams

Counseling Services Can Help

Anxiety can be detrimental to academic performance as well as to psychological, physical and emotional health. BW Counseling Services offers students an environment for discussing anxiety as well as other factors that may be contributing to the condition.

Among programs, Counseling Services offers individual counseling, psychological and personality testing, and screenings for depression, anxiety, eating disorders and alcohol misuse.

BW partners with national providers of telemedicine behavioral health services. Students have access to these services free of charge.

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BW partner: ProtoCall is one of the nation's leading providers of telephonic behavioral health services. Students can access these resources 24/7 by calling (440) 260-4399.

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BW Partner: TAO (online self-help therapy resource) is available to BW students 24/7. Sign up is through JacketConnect Counseling Services.

BW Partner: TimelyMD is a 24/7 telehealth medical and mental health support service with live physicians and counselors who can treat a range of conditions like cold, sinus infection, flu, stress and anxiety, depression and more. Register at