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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) – As students gear up for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STARR) test, a prevalent concern looms over classrooms and households alike: test anxiety.

This psychological hurdle, which can significantly impede academic performance, is gaining attention from educators and mental health professionals.

Test anxiety, characterized by heightened stress responses before and during exams, is increasingly common amidst mounting academic pressures. Paige Morris, a professional school counselor at Texas Connections Academy, sheds light on the roots of this issue and shares strategies for managing it effectively.

Morris said while experiencing some level of anxiety during a test is common, what impacts students the most is the heightened stress response triggers. These responses, she notes, vary from person to person but often manifest in negative and uncontrollable ways, affecting focus and attention span.

Morris reassures students and parents that effective methods exist to counteract this stress. She emphasizes cultivating a mindset focused on the bigger picture, which helps alleviate anxiety across all levels, from mild to severe. For those grappling with severe anxiety, Morris recommends additional strategies.

“If you’re having a hard time and you’re losing focus, the easiest way is to focus on your breathing,” Morris advises.

Techniques like the 5-6-7 breathing method, involving inhaling for 5 seconds, holding for 6, and exhaling for 7, can be particularly helpful. Morris highlights the significance of the exhalation phase, which aids in expelling carbon dioxide, a key factor behind panic sensations.

Morris adds that these breathing techniques aren’t limited to test-taking situations but can be applied to various aspects of life, including interviews and driver’s tests. By equipping students with tools to manage test anxiety, educators and parents aim to ensure that students can perform to their fullest potential on the upcoming STARR test and beyond.

Do you think you may suffer from Anxiety and live in Florida, California or New York?

If so, please consider scheduling a proper virtual online ADHD and Anxiety diagnosis with one of our physicians. Although we have an online ADHD and Anxiety diagnosis tool, a proper diagnosis from a Board-Certified Medical Doctor will help you know for sure. If appropriate, a customized treatment program will be recommended at the conclusion of that initial visit.

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