Test Anxiety

What Is Text Anxiety?

Test anxiety is a psychological condition in which people experience extreme distress and anxiety in testing situations. While many people experience some degree of stress and anxiety before and during exams, test anxiety can actually impair learning and hurt performance

Test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety. In situations where the pressure is on and a good performance counts, people can become so anxious that they are actually unable to do their best.

Other examples of performance anxiety:

  • A businessman freezes up and forgets the information he was going to present to his co-workers and manager during a work presentation.
  • A high school basketball player becomes very anxious before a big game. During the game, she is so overwhelmed by this stress that she starts missing even easy shots.
  • A violin student becomes extremely nervous before a recital. During the performance, she messes up on several key passages and flubs her solo.

While people have the skills and knowledge to do very well in these situations, their excessive anxiety impairs their performance. The severity of test anxiety can vary considerably from one person to another. Some people might feel like they have "butterflies" in their stomach and while others might find it difficult to concentrate on the exam.

Once these stress levels cross the line of normal nervousness, the excessive anxiety you might be experiencing can actually interfere with performance. Excessive fear can make it difficult to concentrate and you might struggle to recall things that you have studied. You might feel like all the information you spent some much time reviewing suddenly seems inaccessible in your mind.

Virtual Reality Therapy for Test anxiety

Virtual reality environments are designed to support gradual exposure and elicit testing-anxiety related reactions. These are especially versatile because they can be beneficial to evaluating and managing this condition in school-aged children, teenagers and university students.

VR Environments that help


The individual finds themselves in school. Through the course of this environment, they are tasked with waiting before the exam, entering the classroom and completing the exam. This is especially useful for teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 years old.


This environment simulates a university lecture hall. The individual can experience the wait before the exam, the walk to the exam room, and the exam itself. It is especially geared towards adults between the ages of 18 and 30 years old.

VR Therapy involves gradually introducing the person to confront the test environments and help adapt to make necessary changes. It may involve just a few sessions of therapy, after which the end goal is the person being able to have self confidence.

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