Why do we get test anxiety?
Everyone’s anxiety differs, but the main cause of test anxiety is a general performance anxiety. Most people experience performance anxiety to a degree, most often in situations where you get ‘one shot’ at doing well, such as in an aptitude test. If you’ve ever wondered whether you get test anxiety, consider the following inner monologue:
- What if I fail?
- What if I can’t perform?
- What if I embarrass myself?
- What if I get a mental block and can’t do a basic task?
- What if I never get a job?
All of these thoughts reflect anxiety to different degrees. You probably know deep down that you have skills that mean you won’t fail, that you can perform well when you’re not under stressful test conditions, that you don’t normally embarrass yourself when you do your job on a daily basis, that you can do basic tasks without even thinking about it, and you’re definitely employable. Yet something strange happens when the word ‘test’ is applied.
Tests are stressful in general
If you think back to tests you’ve taken over your lifetime, such as a driving test, math tests, or tests you sat for your college degree, you’ll remember times where you experienced anxiety but managed to make it through. Aptitude tests, however, can seem a little bit more ‘serious’ in our minds. Performing well in an aptitude test could mean getting a job interview for a role you’ve prepared yourself for the last few years, or not at all. That wide division in consequence for a single test is what generally causes distress for many candidates, but thankfully you don’t have to put up with it.
Dealing with test anxiety means preparing yourself to the point where you know and believe you can excel in the test, therefore reducing the chances you will find yourself unemployable in the near future. If you know you have the skills, and you’ve seen results of aptitude tests which confirm you perform, what is there to fear?
Confident aptitude test-takers know these three things:
- They know what to expect
- They have practiced the test
- They know they get good results
Train like a champion
You can’t expect to perform well in anything in life without the right amount of practice. Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities online for you to practice getting your skills to where they need to be to reduce your anxiety. Experiencing the test and familiarizing yourself with the test under non-test conditions, and then under non-official test-conditions will help you progressively build up to perform well under strict test conditions. You will see where you need to improve and where you are getting things wrong, but feedback is a powerful tool.
Work on the problems and questions you are getting wrong until you get them correct. As you see your score improve, you’ll begin to feel so much more confident. Small gains in terms of score will inspire you to push yourself further, as you discover that your ultimate result truly is in your own hands.
Practice it daily
Make an investment in your future role by making sure you schedule time to practice daily. You could start your day off with your aptitude test practice questions or fit them into your lunch break or evening. If you’re really serious, you could start the day off, review what you learned at lunch, and then do a final question set at night. If you’re having difficulty, consider speaking to a professional. Having someone on your side who can give you tips, hints, and feedback might just be all you need to get your performance up to where it should be.
If you speak to top athletes, you will hear stories of how they employ professionals to help them practice a swing or shoot a hoop – often thousands of times! True professionals continue to practice their basic skillset well after they know they can perform because it allows them to have that asset on call when they need it. Approach your aptitude test preparation with the same mindset today and throughout your entire career. The chance to land your dream role is in your hands.
Get started now, try one of our free practice aptitude tests!