How do I Know if I Am Excessively Anxious?

There are two good indicators which will help you identify whether your concern about exams might be something greater than the usual unease which most people feel:

  1. Usually you will be aware of a history of difficulty with nerves at various times before and/or during exams. See below for a checklist of possible reactions.
  2. Usually you will be aware that your worries "turn on". "Turning on" is a phrase which means that the worries suddenly seem to appear - when you wake up one morning, or somebody says something, or something reminds you about an exam. The effect is one where you feel generally "turned on" to worry and have unpleasant feelings without any other cause. Typical times for worry to turn on are:
  • Long before - at the beginning of the exam year or before you even arrive at college.
  • About three months before exams.
  • The week preceding exams.
  • 36 hours before the exam.
  • At the start of the exam.
  • During the exam.
  • After the exam.

If worrying about exams is your thing you will probably have strong reactions at more than one of these times.