Test Anxiety Is Not About Tests—Part 2

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Test Anxiety Part 2If you suffer from test anxiety, what do you need to do to eliminate this very common problem?   

First, recognize that test anxiety can be broken down into three separate phases or parts. 



1. Pre-Test Anxiety

2. Anxiety During The Test

3. Post-Test Anxiety 

Next, you need to identify the underlying causes contributing to your anxiety in each of these three phases.  When trying to understand these very specific causes, it helps to remember there are always two basic types: 

  • External, obvious causes
  • Internal, not so obvious causes 

Pre-Test Anxiety Causes 

The external causes of Pre-Test Anxiety can be many.  These include things like competing demands from other courses, the importance or “weight” of the upcoming test, your level of understanding or not understanding the course material, your past performance on previous tests, etc. 

Anxiety During The Test 

The external causes of being anxious while taking a test can include the behavior of other students around you, how difficult or easy the test questions are, how much or how little time you have to complete the test, how clear your mind is, how fatigued your body is, whether you consumed any stimulants, etc. 

Post-Test Anxiety 

Feeling anxious or worried after the test is over can be related to external causes such as how others say they performed on the test, how much the score counts toward your final grade, how important the final grade is to your future hopes and plans, etc. 

Thus, there can be many different types of external causes involved, and each of the three phases of test anxiety may have a different set of external causes. 

Internal Causes Are Deeper And More Pervasive 

Internal causes, on the other hand, are much less obvious, much more situated deep within us, and they affect all three phases of test anxiety equally.  These are the key causes that are often neglected, which is why many strategies for coping with test anxiety do not have much power. 

In my next post, I’ll talk about just a few of these internal causes.  If you want to know even more about them, I just published a downloadable self-help guide that reveals ten (10) anxiety-producing internal causes which underlie all three phases of this problem.  To find out more about how you can easily get your hands on this new guide, go right now to: 






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